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Applying the newness requirement to projects under forest regeneration methods

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29 November 2016
ERF

This guidance relates to the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest - 1.1) Methodology Determination 2013 (the Human-Induced Regeneration method) and the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Native Forest from Managed Regrowth) Methodology Determination 2013 (the Managed Regrowth method). These methods are collectively referred to in this guidance as “forest regeneration methods”.

Applications to register projects or add new land parcels to registered projects using forest regeneration methods lodged after 30 June 2015 must meet, among other requirements, the newness requirement set out in Section 27(4A)(a)(i) of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011. The reference to “new land parcel” in this guidance means a land parcel that is not a part of another registered project.

In particular, to satisfy the newness requirement for the forest regeneration methods, applicants must show that the project activity or activities have not started in the project area before the project is registered or, in case new land parcels are to be added to the existing project area, in the new land parcels before the amended project declaration is issued showing the new land parcels as included. 

“Project activity” in this guidance refers to the types of project activity that are required under the forest regeneration methods, defined as “human-assisted regeneration activity” in the Human-Induced Regeneration method and as “change in land management” in the Managed Regrowth method.

A project will not satisfy the newness test if project activities have already started and the applicant cannot provide evidence of a human-assisted regeneration activity or change in land management that will not commence in the project area until the project is registered or, as the case may be, in the new land parcel until the project declaration is amended and issued.
Projects under the forest regeneration methods involve either introducing an activity that encourages regeneration, and/or stopping activities that suppress regeneration. If an activity that suppressed regeneration has already stopped, the project will not satisfy the newness test, unless the project implements a different activity.

Example A

A landholder de-stocked an area of land in 2011, due to drought conditions and insufficient feed. The land is now being submitted as a project area for an Emissions Reduction Fund project under a forest regeneration method. The project activity is described as constructing fences for feral goat control. At the time the project is registered, construction of the fences will have not yet commenced.

The project satisfies the newness requirement.

Example B

A landholder de-stocked an area of land in 2011, due to drought conditions and insufficient feed. The information on land use history shows that the landholder was implementing management of the timing and extent of grazing on the proposed project area during the period since the de-stocking in 2011. The land is now being submitted as a project area for an Emissions Reduction Fund project under a forest regeneration method. The project activity is described only as management of the timing and extent of grazing. 

The project does not have a new project activity that will commence after project registration, and therefore does not satisfy the newness requirement.

Example C

A landholder de-stocked an area of land in 2011, which was registered in May 2015 as a project area for a backdated Emissions Reduction Fund project under a forest regeneration method. In September 2015 the landholder applied to vary the project area to bring in new land parcels. The land in the new land parcels was also de-stocked in 2011, and the landholder has now changed their mind about putting stock back onto this land and wishes to add it to the Emissions Reduction Fund project instead. No other project activity is proposed for the new land parcels.  

As the method does not include the avoidance or cessation of re-stocking as one of the potential project activities, the new land parcels do not satisfy the newness requirement.

Example D

A landholder de-stocked an area of land in 2011, which was registered in May 2015 as a project area for a backdated Emissions Reduction Fund project under a forest regeneration method. In September 2015 the landholder applied to vary the project area to bring in new land parcels. The land in the new land parcels was also de-stocked in 2011, and the landholder now plans to undertake future invasive weed control to further encourage regeneration. At the time the project is registered, invasive weed control on land in the new land parcels will have not yet commenced.

The new land parcels satisfy the newness requirement.

Note:If a project application is withdrawn or refused by the Clean Energy Regulator for reasons other than the newness requirement, the application can be resubmitted as long as the project activity or activities have not started.

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