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Human-induced regeneration of a permanent even-aged native forest

08 May 2019

Guidelines available

On 8 May 2019, the Clean Energy Regulator released documentasset::Guidelines on stratification, evidence and records for projects under the human-induced regeneration and native forest from managed regrowth methods. The guidelines support the requirements in the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Amendment Rule (No.2) 2018, the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Amendment Rule (No.1) 2019, and key method eligibility requirements. The Clean Energy Regulator consulted with industry and technical experts to develop these guidelines.

The guideline supersedes the documentasset::interim posture and documentasset::draft operational policy used to assess crediting abatement for human-induced regeneration and native forest from managed regrowth methods from November 2017 to May 2019.

Is the human-induced regeneration of a permanent even-aged native forest method suitable for your business?
  • Do you conduct activities ​on your land t​hat suppress native forest growth?
  • Has native forest growth been suppressed for at least 10 years?

If you answered yes to these questions, the human-induced regeneration method may be suitable ​for your business.

This method applies to projects that store carbon by regenerating native forest using one or more eligible activities. Project activities must occur on ​eligible land where regrowth of native forest has been suppressed for at least 10 years.

Human-induced regeneration activities include:

  • excluding livestock and taking reasonable steps to keep livestock excluded
  • managing the timing and extent of grazing
  • managing feral animals in a humane manner
  • managing plants that are not native to the project area, and
  • implementing a decision to permanently cease mechanical or chemical destruction, or suppression, of native regrowth.

Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) are earned when carbon is stored as a result of the project activities. The carbon store is calculated using the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) tool.

Additional benefits of running a human-induced regeneration project may include improved quality of your land and water supply, increased biodiversity and shade and shelter for stock.

Before registering a project under this method, you should understand the basic steps to participating in the Emissions Reduction Fund.

This method is a variation of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest – 1.1) Methodology Determination 2013.

Key changes from compilation 1 of the method include:

  • Moving from the Reforestation Modelling Tool (RMT) to the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM). FullCAM has broader application for forest establishment activities. It provides greater flexibility in modelling events and management activities and more options when selecting plant species. 
  • Carrying forward negative abatement from one reporting period to the next.
  • Clarifying arrangements for adding new project area, transferring a project from another method and transferring project area from another method.
  • Projects can be run on conservation land. 
  • Reference to the CFI mapping tool was removed in the compilation 3.

Previous versions (complation 1 and compilation 2) of the human-induced regeneration of a permanent even-aged native forest method closed for new projects when the complation 3 became available on 27 February 2018.

Projects that have started their crediting period will not be affected by the variations and the method the project is registered under will continue to apply until the end of the crediting period. Scheme participants with a project under the previous method can apply to the Clean Energy Regulator to vary their project and transfer to the varied​ method if they wish. However, under Subsection 23(1)(f) of the Carbon Farming Initiative Rule, scheme participants planning to include additional land in their project area will need to apply to transfer their project to the varied method.

If you have a registered human-induced regeneration project under the previous version and the crediting period has not commenced, your project will be transferred automatically to the varied method .

If you have a project application currently under assessment, it will be assessed against the varied method and, if registered, your project will run according to the varied method.

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 a human-induced regeneration project and earn Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). This includes:

Regulatory guidance

Tools

Resources​

Quick reference guide to the human-induced regeneration of a permanent even-aged native forest – 1.1 method​​

Contents

Crediting period

25 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

To be eligible to run a project, you must meet the general eligibility requirements, as well as method specific eligibility requirements. For this method these are:

  • The project must involve one or more human-induced regeneration activities. More information about project activities.
  • You must reasonably expect the project activities to result in native forest regeneration. The Documentasset: Operational policy on crediting for NRMF and HIR projects developed by the Clean Energy Regulator as interim guidance now specifies there must be evidence of trees present in the carbon estimation area to be eligible for credits. To be able to claim credits in future, there must be evidence those trees will develop into native forest. More information about evidence required for regeneration sequestration projects.
  • The project area must include eligible land. Eligible land is land that:
    • did not have forest cover at any time during its 10 year baseline period.
    • is not conservation land and was subjected to mechanisms that contributed to the suppression of native forest growth.
    • is conservation land where feral animals or plants not native to the area contributed to the suppression of forest cover and there was no mechanical or chemical destruction, or suppression, of native regrowth.
    • would reasonably be expected to continue to not have forest cover unless one or more human-induced regeneration activities are conducted.  
  • Full carbon accounting model (FullCAM) data must exist for the project area location.

Relevant section of the Act:

 

Relevant section of the ​Method:

 


What's not eligible

  • Direct seeding or planting.
  • Using lime or fertiliser.

Relevant section of the ​Method:

​​

Project activities

A project activity conducted on land that is not conservation land must include one or more of the following human-induced regeneration activities:

  • Excluding livestock and taking reasonable steps to keep livestock excluded.
  • Managing the timing and extent of grazing.​
  • Managing feral animals in a humane manner.
  • Managing plants that are not native to the project area.
  • Implementing a decision to permanently cease mechanical or chemical destruction, or suppression, of native regrowth.

Two examples of regeneration activities on land that is not conservation land are described in the Method (Section 12); excluding livestock and implementing a decision to cease mechanical destruction or regrowth.

A project activity that is conducted on conservation land is either or both of the following human-induced regeneration activities:

  • Managing feral animals in a humane manner.
  • Managing plants that are not native to the project area.

These activities must not be ordinarily conducted on conservation land to be eligible activities.

Other considerations when running your project:

  • Biomass cannot be removed from carbon estimation areas; except in accordance with the method. These exceptions are:
    • If removal is required by law.
    • Plants that are not native to a particular carbon estimation area may be removed, but only if the removal is likely to improve the growth rate or health of the remaining native vegetation.
    • Dead biomass may be removed from a carbon estimation area if it did not result from mechanical or chemical destruction, it is to be used as firewood and the carbon stock in that carbon estimation area would not be materially less than if the biomass were not removed.
  • Native vegetation must not be mechanically or chemically damaged or destroyed within a carbon estimation area unless required by law or it is selectively carried out to improve the growth rate or health of the remaining native vegetation and, the resulting biomass remains in the carbon estimation area.
  • If the activity involves excluding livestock and taking reasonable steps to keep livestock excluded, the livestock must be prevented from grazing in the carbon estimation area until the regenerated vegetation meets the definition of 'forest cover'. Once forest cover is achieved through regeneration, the participant may conduct the human-induced regeneration activity of managing the time and extent of grazing and then allow livestock in the carbon estimation.
  • If the activity includes the management of the timing and extent of grazing in a carbon estimation area, grazing may be permitted only to the extent that it does not impact the accumulation of carbon in the carbon estimation area.
  • Using lime or fertiliser in the carbon estimation area is not allowed.

A carbon estimation area is a part of the project area where the human-induced regeneration activity is run and where native forest is growing because of regeneration. This is the area used to calculate abatement.

The method requirements for carbon estimation areas can be found in Method Sections 14 – 19​ (pages 14-16).


Project baseline period

The project area must not have any forest cover during the 10 year baseline period. The baseline period is determined by the date land was included in the project:

  • For new projects, the baseline period is the 10 years immediately prior to the date that a project application is submitted to the Clean Energy Regulator.
  • For project variations, the baseline period is the 10 years immediately prior to the date the application to vary the project area was submitted to the Clean Energy Regulator.

Relevant section of the ​Method:


Calculating abatement

Abatement is the removal of greenhouse gas achieved by a project. It is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e).

CO2-e is a measure of the warming effect of different greenhouse gases that allows them to be compared to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. It refers to the amount of carbon dioxide that would give the same warming effect as each greenhouse gas, such as methane and nitrous oxide, emitted or stored by an activity.

A project earns ACCUs for abatement it achieves. Net abatement for each reporting period is calculated as the change in the amount of carbon stored in all carbon estimation areas, minus the emissions resulting from fire and fuel used in the process of establishing and maintaining the project. Net abatement is adjusted if there is any negative carry over from the previous reporting period.

The Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) is used to calculate the amount of carbon stored as well as the emissions from biomass burning in all carbon estimation areas in the project area. 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.

Relevant section of the ​Method:


Reporting requirements

  • All scheme participants must submit project reports to the Clean Energy Regulator throughout the crediting period of their project.
  • The time period reported on is called the reporting period. Scheme participants nominate when they will report on their project. A minimum of five reporting periods in a crediting period is required for this method. A reporting period can be between six months and five years.

In addition to the general reporting and notification requirements of the Act and Rules, the method specifies what information must be included in project reports.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the ​Method:

​​

Record-keeping requirements

The Method also outlines specific records that must be kept.

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, projects must meet the specific monitoring requirements in Part 5 of the method. This includes:

  • Monitoring the carbon estimation area to comply with project operation requirements in Part 3 of the method, including monitoring removal of biomass, restriction on mechanical or chemical destruction of native vegetation, restriction on livestock and restriction on use of lime and fertiliser.
  • Monitoring management activities and disturbance events such as fire in the carbon estimation area.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the ​Method:


Audit

The purpose of an audit is to establish reasonable assurance that abatement achieved and reported on is accurate. Audits are the responsibility of the scheme participant and must be conducted by a registered category 2 national greenhouse and energy auditor.

All projects receive an audit schedule when registered and must provide audit reports according to this schedule. A minimum of three audits will be scheduled and ​additional audits m​ay be triggered. For information on audit requirements see Auditing.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:


 

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