Planting of the first 8 Ha of the Bunyip carbon sink has now been completed with a third tranche of 4 Ha for Spring 09. The plantings are based on the local EVCs and provide biodiversity and public amenity benefits to accompany the carbon sequestration. Councils are purchasing, at advantageous rates, amounts of carbon from these biodiversity plantings for vehicle fleet offsets. SECCCA is negotiating with member councils for the next plots to be planted.
There will inevitably be CO2 produced through the ways in which we live and work. To offset our carbon emissions we can remove CO2 from the atmosphere and lock it up in carbon sinks. SECCCA is implementing ways to offset the carbon the partner Councils produce through their operations via a biodiversity planting in Bunyip.
Scientists, governments and international bodies have recognised that accumulations of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere are changing global climate, which will have significant impacts on our environment, our communities and our economy.
Given the climate change scenario, there is an opportunity to address these issues in a way that is good for the environment and good for business.
Carbon sinks provide an opportunity to offset harmful greenhouse gases and also address local environmental problems such as biodiversity, salinity, erosion and water quality issues.
Carbon sinks in this context are areas of native trees and shrubs planted to absorb carbon dioxide. When established in an appropriate form in suitable pasts of the landscape, these carbon sinks have the potential to provide a range of economic, social and environmental benefits to the region. The carbon sequestered through the establishment of these sinks is forming the basis of a global carbon trading market, which though in its infancy in Australia, has been predicted by market analysts to be worth $US 44 billion by 2010.
Carbon Sinks have been identified in the South East Council’s Climate Change Alliance SECCCA) Strategic Plan as a key element of a comprehensive greenhouse response In 2005 the SECCCA set out to “establish a co-ordinated, regional program to offset greenhouse gas emissions through the development of multiple-benefit carbon sinks” (SECCCA Carbon Sink Project Framework 2005).
The SECCCA engaged Australian Carbon Traders (ACT) to prepare a report outlining how the Western Port councils could meet their Cities for Climate Change greenhouse reduction targets through conservation-based carbon offset.
The SECCCA is currently developing the Bunyip Sanctuary Project which presents very high value carbon at a competitive price. The project is further enhanced by additional social and environmental outcomes. In 2007/08 this 12.5 ha site will be revegetated to assist the SECCCA council members offset their vehicle fleet emissions.
Bunyip Carbon Sink Project