Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

Avoided clearing of native regrowth method

Suggested Reading Suggested Reading

14 November 2017

Is the avoided clearing method suitable for your business?

  • Does your land have native forest cover?
  • Do you have a valid unrestricted clearing consent?
  • Has your land been cleared at least twice in the past?

If you have answered yes to these questions, the avoided clearing method may be suitable for your business.

An avoided clearing of native regrowth project involves retaining areas of native forest that would otherwise be cleared in the normal course of events.

A project using this method helps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere because carbon is stored in the forest's trees as they grow, instead of being released into the atmosphere upon clearing. The carbon stored is called carbon stock, while the overall reduction in greenhouse gases as a result of a project is termed abatement.

The carbon stock held in the project's trees and debris is calculated using a computer modelling tool called the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM). FullCAM is used to model a 'baseline scenario' (in which the land would normally be cleared) and a 'project scenario' (in which the land is no longer cleared).

The difference between the two scenarios is the amount of additional carbon stored because of the project. The net amount of abatement during a project's reporting period is then determined by subtracting any emissions, due to fires, from the amount of carbon stock. The resulting amount of abatement is used to determine the number of Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) your project may be issued.

As a sequestration project, that is, a project that stores carbon in vegetation or soil, an avoided clearing of native regrowth project is subject to a 'permanence obligation'. This means the project must be maintained 'permanently' (for a nominated period of either 100 or 25 years).

Method variations

Section 114 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Ini​tiative) Act 2011 (the Act)​ ​allows for methods to be revised and varied. This is to ensure methods continue to operate as originally intended. Variations to methods are developed and drafted by the Department of the Environment and Energy. Information on draft methods and method variations is available on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.

The Clean Energy Regulator recommends making yourself familiar with proposed method variations relevant to your project should they arise, and how any changes between the original method and the varied method may affect your project plan.

Legislative requirements

You must read and understand the method and other legislative requirements to conduct an avoided clearing of native regrowth project and earn ACCUs. This includes:

Tools and Resources

Regulatory guidance

Quick reference guide to the avoided clearing of native regrowth method

The quick reference guide provides basic information about eligibility criteria and obligations that must be met to earn ACCUs from an avoided clearing of native regrowth project. It includes links to the legislation, but should not be viewed as an alternative to reading the full legislative requirements.

Contents

Crediting period

Twenty-five years – The crediting period is the period of time a project can apply to claim Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).

Relevant section of the Act:

​​​​

Eligibility Requirements

There are general eligibility requirements in the Act, which include:

In addition, projects can only be run on land that has:

  • native forest cover, substantially uniformly covered in trees, in an area of Australia with FullCAM data
  • an unrestricted clearing consent
  • been cleared at least twice in the past, and
  • been used for grazing or cropping after each clearing event, before the native forest regenerated.

Evidence of the land's native forest cover, clearing history, regeneration history and land use history is required.

Part 3, Division 2 of the method also requires that specific information is included in a project application before the project can be considered eligible. You should ensure you refer to this division and provide all the required information.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​

Project Activities

A project involves retaining areas of native forest that would otherwise be cleared in the normal course of events. Native forest is land dominated by trees that:

  • are located within their natural range
  • have reached a height of at least two metres, and
  • have attained a crown cover of at least 20 per cent of the area of land.

You also need to divide, or stratify, the project area into carbon estimation areas, which are the areas of your project where carbon will be stored and for which ACCUs may be issued. Each carbon estimation area must cover at least 0.2 of a hectare and meet the other requirements specified in Part 3, Section 20 of the method. The boundaries of each carbon estimation area must be defined in accordance with the Carbon Farming Initiative Mapping Guidelines using field surveys, aerial photography, satellite imagery or maps.

Once approved, a project's activities are minimal, apart from ongoing management of the native forest. For example, you must actively reduce the risk of damage from fire, weeds and feral animals. You may collect up to 10 per cent of wood from the forest for personal uses, such as fencing or household firewood. You may also thin trees for ecological purposes, subject to the rules in the method.

Click for further information about project activities.

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​

Exclusions

 

  • Plantations and environmental plantings are excluded.
  • Commercial harvesting is not permitted.
  • Fertiliser must not be used.

 

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​

How is abatement calculated

The amount of carbon stored in the native forest, known as the carbon stock, is calculated using a computer modelling tool called the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM). FullCAM does this by comparing two scenarios:

  • a baseline scenario, in which the land would normally be cleared, and
  • a project scenario, in which the land is no longer cleared.

The baseline scenario involves modelling the following projected series of events, over a 100-year period:

  • regeneration
  • clearing, and
  • windrow and burn fires (i.e. burning of debris heaped into windrows after clearing).

The project scenario is also a series of modelled events, which are only modelled as they occur. These events are:

  • regeneration after the most recent clearing event
  • thinning of trees
  • fires
  • non-fire disturbances, and
  • additional regeneration, if a natural disturbance kills all the trees in a carbon estimation area.

The difference between two scenarios is the amount of additional carbon stored as a result of your project. The net amount of abatement for the reporting period is then determined by subtracting any emissions due to fires from the total change in carbon stock.

Projects following this method are to use the version of FullCAM and FullCAM Guidelines available on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website at the end of the project’s reporting period.

Click for further information about calculating carbon stock, emissions and abatement.

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​

Reporting Requirements

In addition to the reporting requirements of the Act and the Rule, Section 56 of the method sets out method-specific requirements for offset reports. This includes providing information related to:

  • FullCAM data for baseline and project scenarios
  • results of all calculations
  • thinning events
  • fires, and
  • non-fire natural disturbances.

 

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​

Monitoring Requirements

In addition to the general monitoring requirements of the Act, Section 60 of the method sets out specific monitoring requirements. These include monitoring:

  • fires, and
  • other natural disturbances.

 

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​

Record-keeping requirements

In addition to the record-keeping requirements of the Act and the Rule, Section 58 of the method sets out specific record-keeping requirements. These include keeping records of:

  • evidence used to prove your project's eligibility
  • FullCAM data for baseline and project scenarios
  • results of all calculations
  • thinning events
  • fires, and
  • non-fire natural disturbances.

 

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​

Audits

All projects receive an audit schedule when the project is declared and must provide audit reports according to this schedule. A minimum of three audits will be scheduled and additional audits may be triggered. For more information on the audit requirements, see the Act, the Rule and the audit information on our website.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

​​​​

Specialist skills

Some methods require specialist skills for a project. There are no specialist skills identified by this method.

Relevant section of the Rule:

​​​​

Documents on this page Documents on this page

Was this page useful?

LEAVE FEEDBACK
 
 
preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only