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Establish the project area

Establish the project area

​​​​Identify your project area using the CFI Mapping Tool and make sure this area meets the eligibility requirements in Sections 10–12. This means that eligible land will have a sequestration value that has been determined by the FullCAM model values.

Then, divide or ‘stratify’ the project area into a combination of carbon estimation areas (CEAs) and exclusion areas (Sections 13–15). CEAs are the areas of your project in which you will carry out the project management activities, where carbon will be stored, and for which you may be issued ACCUs.

The boundary of each CEA must be defined using the CFI Mapping Guidelines. Each CEA must be entirely within a single Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) region. You must identify the SA2 region using the CFI Mapping Tool to obtain the correct sequestration value for that CEA. Use the CFI Mapping Guidelines to ensure the map of your project area that identifies your CEAs meets the requirements of the method.

Your project area can contain one or more CEAs. However, only one type of project management activity can occur in each CEA (Section 14). A CEA may be a single area of land, or it can be split by exclusion areas (Figure 1). Exclusion areas are those parts of your project area that will not store carbon and where project activities will not be conducted. Rocky outcrops, dams, buildings, certain soil types and cleared forests and drained wetlands are examples. You can have more than one exclusion area in your project area, and you must show them on the map.

Because the offsets for a project are calculated for each CEA and then added up, and not averaged over the project area, you must stratify your project area into CEAs and exclusion areas before you apply to run a project. Section 16 outlines how you can re-stratify (re-define), add or remove CEAs as a project progresses.

Figure 1: Example of a soil carbon project area showing carbon estimation areas (1 and 2) and exclusion areas (3 and house paddock)​​
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Why does a soil carbon project use ‘default’ values?

It is sometimes not practical or easy to measure the amount of carbon sequestered in every project area before your project starts. The amount of carbon sequestered in soil carbon projects is therefore calculated using default values that have already been estimated (modelled) for different types of soils and climate by the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) over Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) regions. SA2 regions are defined areas of land used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The modelled values are provided in the Standard Parameters and Emissions Factors Tables​. The values apply clear, but conservative, sequestration values to a discrete range of project management activities.

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