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Native forest from managed regrowth method

12 September 2016

Is the native forest from managed regrowth method suitable for your business?

  • Are you able to provide evidence of a decision to introduce a change in land management practice that leads to the regrowth of native forest?
  • Has the land where the change in land management practice will occur been cleared of forest cover and regrowth has started, but forest cover has not been reached?
  • Would the land normally be cleared to maintain pastoral use?

If you answered yes to these questions, the native forest from managed regrowth method may be suitable for your business.

A native forest from managed regrowth project allows native vegetation to grow and become forest by stopping activities that suppress or destroy regeneration of native vegetation. These activities must be replaced with new management practices that allow native trees to regenerate and become forest. The project helps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere because carbon is stored, or sequestered, in the trees as they grow.

Native forest from managed regrowth projects use a modelling tool called the Full Carbon Accounting Model, or FullCAM, to estimate changes in the amount of carbon stock as a result of the project. A project must be located in Australia excluding Australia's external territories.

There must be evidence of a decision to conduct a project; that is, to change land management practices that maintain pasture by suppressing or removing native vegetation regrowth, to a management regime that enables native tree regeneration.

Regeneration must arise from existing natural seed beds, rootstocks or lignotubers in the project area. Direct seeding or planting is not permitted.

The project area must also include land that has been cleared at least once for pastoral use, and there must have been forest cover on that land before it was cleared. At the time of the decision to change land management, the land must have had native vegetation and the potential to achieve forest cover, but not yet have achieved forest cover.

As a sequestration project, that is, a project that stores carbon in vegetation or soil, a native forest from  managed 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 F​arming Initiative) 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 native forest from managed regrowth project and earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs). This includes:

Tools and Resources

Regulatory guidance

Quick reference guide to the native forest from managed regrowth method

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

Quick reference guide 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:

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Eligibility Requirements

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

You must also be able to provide evidence of a decision to conduct a project (i.e. to change land management practices to enable native tree regeneration).

The project area must also include land that has been cleared at least once for pastoral use, and had forest cover before it was cleared. At the time of the decision to change land management, the land must have had native vegetation and the potential to achieve forest cover, but not yet achieved forest cover.

Part 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 part and provide all the required information.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:

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Project Activities

A project involves allowing native vegetation to grow and become forest. This is done by stopping activities that suppress or destroy regeneration of native vegetation. These activities must be replaced with new management practices that allow native trees to regenerate and become forest. The regeneration must arise from existing natural seed beds, rootstocks or lignotubers in the project area.

You must identify the area in which your project will occur using the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) Mapping Tool (or a similar tool) and the CFI Mapping Guidelines. The area is then divided, or stratified, into a combination of two different zones:

  • carbon estimation areas, which are the areas of your project where carbon will be stored and for which ACCUs may be issued, and
  • exclusion zones, which are areas where project activities will not be conducted, such as a road, building or dam.

Click for further information about project activities.

Relevant section of the Method:

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Exclusions

 

  • Direct seeding or planting is not permitted.
  • Commercial harvesting is not permitted, but up to 10 per cent of fallen timber may be removed from the project area each year for personal use.
  • Grazing is restricted to ensure that it does not prevent the regrowth of native forest.
  • Lime or fertiliser must not be used.

 

Relevant section of the Method:

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How is abatement calculated

Abatement is calculated using a computer modelling tool called the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM).

To determine the level of abatement, FullCAM estimates the changes in carbon stock (i.e. the amount of carbon stored in the trees) as a result of the project, using inputs based on site locations and management and disturbance events.

When estimating changes in carbon stock, FullCAM takes into account a project baseline. This represents what would happen if your project did not occur, and so provides a point against which any changes in carbon stock in a reporting period is measured.

The project baseline may be either zero or non-zero, depending on the carbon mass of trees in your carbon estimation areas. The carbon mass is described as being either material or not material, based on whether it is more or less than a set level. The set level is 5 per cent of what the carbon mass of trees would be 100 years after the project began.

A zero baseline only needs calculating once in a project, and applies if:

  • comprehensive clearing has occurred, and
  • the carbon mass has not been material for the 10 years before your project began.

A non-zero-baseline is calculated as the long-term average of carbon stock for the project area, and must be recalculated for each reporting period. It applies if the:

  • vegetation has been managed for pastoral use, and
  • carbon mass has reached a material level in the 10 years before your project began.

Once the total change in carbon stock for the project area is known, net abatement is then calculated by subtracting any emissions from fires and fuel used in running the project.

Click for further information about calculating baselines, emissions and abatement.

Relevant section of the Method:

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Reporting Requirements

In addition to the reporting requirements of the Act and the Rule, Division 5.4 of the method also sets out method-specific requirements for offset reports. The information you are required to provide when reporting to the Clean Energy Regulator includes:

  • net abatement amount and related baseline and carbon stock data
  • data on emissions from biomass burning and fuel use
  • project area, forest management and forest cover information, and
  • FullCAM files and output data.
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Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the Method:

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Monitoring Requirements

In addition to the general monitoring requirements of the Act, Section 5.3 of the method describes specific monitoring requirements. These include using on-ground observation and/or remote-sensing imagery to:

  • monitor management and disturbance events
  • ensure compliance with Part 3 of the method and the CFI Mapping Guidelines, and
  • demonstrate that the requirements for any specific calibrations have been met.

 

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:

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Record-keeping requirements

In addition to the record-keeping requirements of the Act and the Rule, Division 5.3 of the method describes specific record-keeping requirements. These include keeping records related to:

  • the decision to run a project
  • clearing and regrowth
  • plant species being regenerated
  • stratification into carbon estimation areas
  • project baseline
  • fires
  • fuel use
  • FullCAM modelling
  • forest management, and
  • the project area.

 

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the Method:

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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:

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Specialist skills

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

Relevant section of the Rule:

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