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Biodiversity credit program completed on Eyre Peninsula

News article |

More than 140 hectares of native vegetation will be protected at Cleve and Cowell, under the Biodiversity Credit Exchange (BCE) program.

The program has been delivered by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) and the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board, on behalf of the Native Vegetation Council (NVC).

It gives eligible landholders access to funding to protect, manage and restore areas of native vegetation on their land, in order to generate biodiversity credits.

These credits are sold to buyers who are required to offset vegetation clearances in the same region.

Land managers in two areas of Eyre Peninsula had the opportunity to apply to diversify their income with the BCE program last year.

Planning and Assessment Officer with the EP Landscape Board, Andrew Freeman, said the program had been ideal for land managers who had areas of vegetation they wanted to improve through pest and weed control, or by excluding stock.

“This program has resulted in two land managers, one near Cleve and one near Cowell, accessing funding to manage and protect areas of native vegetation on their land to generate biodiversity credits,” says Mr Freeman.

“Payments are received for management activities in the protected area, as part of an agreed management plan. The resulting improvement in vegetation condition creates a biodiversity credit which is what land managers will be paid for by the NVC.

“The credits that are generated are listed on the Native Vegetation Credit Register, and can then be sold by NVC to buyers who are required to offset vegetation clearances in the same region.”

Successful applicant Tony Hull, who has land near Cowell, says the program has allowed him to look after an area of native vegetation on his property.

“With this funding, the two main activities I’ll be undertaking to look after native vegetation, is erecting stock proof fencing and undertaking African Boxthorn control,” Mr Hull says.

‘’I will be using local contractors to carry out these works, so the funding I receive will also flow to local businesses.”

Biodiversity credit program completed on Eyre Peninsula
Vegetation that is being protected and enhanced near Cowell.

Manager of Native Vegetation Branch with DEW, Sarah Reachill, says it’s encouraging to see the BCE being implemented in another area of South Australia.

“In previous years, the program has supported landholders in the Northern and Yorke and Murraylands and Riverland regions. Now the program has been successfully implemented on Eyre Peninsula with a total of 144ha of native vegetation over two properties being protected via heritage agreements and management actions being undertaken over the next 10 years to improve the health of these areas,” Ms Reachill says.

“What this program does is support sustainable development in our growing regional economies while also providing long-term protection for our state’s ecosystems and ensuring there is no net loss of native vegetation for South Australia.

“NVC will assess the program and decide if this is the best way to achieve biodiversity credits. With growing development around the state, particularly in relation to renewable energy, the need to achieve biodiversity credits to offset clearance is likely to expand over the next decade.”

For more information visit: https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/native-vegetation/offsetting/turn-your-native-vegetation-into-income/biodiversity-credit-exchange

More information is also available on our BCE page.

For media queries for the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board contact Communications and Engagement Officer Katrina Phelps on 0488 005 880 or katrina.phelps@sa.gov.au.

For media queries for the Native Vegetation Council, contact DEW Senior Media Advisor Dave Primer on 0448 169 428 or david.primer@sa.gov.au

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