Collaborative management and measurement of carbon farming and its co-benefits

University of Technology, Sydney

  • Project code: PRO-013321

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, May 30, 2021

  • Project completion date: Wednesday, December 14, 2022

  • National Priority: TIA - Carbon


This project will road-test business models and metrics for collaborative management, pooling and marketing of carbon farming outcomes with farmer groups and other key stakeholders. It builds on previous work that the research team has undertaken on incentivising carbon farming co-benefits (funded by NSW Department of Primary Industries), and on landholder collaboration (funded by NSW Environmental Trust). This previous work developed co-benefit indicators with farmers, aggregators, scientific experts and policy-makers, as well as a guide to collaborative business models, and multiple reports, articles and conference papers. The proposed project will further this work by validating and refining these business models, metrics and communications materials with collaborative groups (e.g farming systems, Landcare, carbon market developers and existing cooperatives) and feeding into the NSW Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program (PIPAP).

While soil carbon has been identified as having the potential to provide 20 Mt of carbon abatement by 2030, development has been constrained by high abatement uncertainties and high costs associated with direct measurement, limiting carbon farming to vegetation-based approaches in low-production rangeland areas. The Australian Government has set a goal of bringing soil carbon measurement costs below $3 per ha/year to unlock potential abatement in soils. However, landholders also require business models to increase aggregation of small-scale soil carbon projects across multiple properties, equitably share risks and opportunities, and reward carbon farmers for the co-benefits they deliver. Co-designing these models and metrics with farmers and local communities will help carbon farming become a widely-accepted part of Australia’s farming future.


Transformative Industry Action

Research Organisation

University of Technology, Sydney