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Indigenous Reforestation in a Global Biodiversity Hotspot

  • 8. Work + Economic Growth
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 15. Life on Land

Conservation International, a world authority on biodiversity conservation, identified Southwest Australia as one of only 35 globally significant biodiversity hotspots. These are regions that have an exceptionally high number of plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world, account for 90% of all species on earth and cover only 2.3% of the earth’s surface.  It is therefore imperative that these ‘megadiverse’ areas be protected to ensure their survival and restoration. The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor Gold Standard project is located in this global biodiversity hotspot.

It is a multi-species native reforestation project grown on degraded, semi-arid agricultural land that no longer supports viable farming practices.  In a region where over 90% of the land has already been cleared, this project is helping to return the environment to its origins, planting up to 40 native tree and shrub species which are matched to the environment.

This project aims to recreate a healthy, functioning landscape, restored after decades of habitat loss and degradation. This will become the new bush that helps connect to the Australian Outback.

It is a legacy landscape – one in which our actions now will ensure this landscape will be left in a much improved condition than we received it. This will be our gift to future generations and to the planet.

This reforestation project is encouraging native animals and plants that have vanished or been pushed to the brink of extinction in the region to return and breed. Imagine how special it will be to welcome back iconic threatened species such as Malleefowl, Bush Stone-curlew, Carnaby’s Cockatoo, Western Spiny-tailed Skink and the Woylie (Brush-tailed Bettong), as well as over 30 species of conservation-significant native plants!

Project impacts and benefits:

Carbon removal (sequestration) and climate change action

  • 10,000 hectares has been revegetated capturing 1.257 million tonnes of carbon.
  • carbon credits are legally protected by 100 year Carbon Right and Carbon Covenant registered on the land titles

The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Project offers much more to organisations looking to offset their unavoidable emissions than simply storing carbon.  The social, economic and environmental benefits are considerable

  • Halting and reversing land degradation by: cutting soil and water erosion; contributing towards reduced soil salinity; saving and restoring water quality; and providing windbreaks
  • Employment, including local indigenous people and liaison with Traditional Owners
  • Aboriginal heritage sites recognised and registered
  • Creating new industry in rural areas and expenditure with local businesses
  • Increased wildlife habitat and connectivity to remnant vegetation
  • Very importantly, this program creates a large-scale habitat for over 450 native species, including endangered and declining flora and fauna
  • Provision of opportunities for: Scientific research; eco-tourism; and community education.
“For Carbon Neutral’s reforestation project, achieving Gold Standard certification verifies its multi-faceted benefits — from global climate security to restoring habitats for native biodiversity, and even supporting local communities socio-economically. ”
David Shelmerdine, President of The Gold Standard Foundation