• Initiative focuses on 'carbon farming' partnerships in national parks and reserves
  • Potential co-benefits for conservation, climate change, Aboriginal people, and private sector 

The McGowan Government is calling on the private sector to propose carbon farming concepts and solutions for Western Australia's national parks and reserves, as part of its COVID-19 economic stimulus and recovery plan.

The Carbon for Conservation initiative has been released under the Market-led Proposals Policy Problem and Opportunity Statement process.

The Market-led Proposal process harnesses innovative ideas from the private sector that can stimulate the economy and create jobs for Western Australians.

Seven candidate sites within the conservation estate have been identified, with carbon farming service providers invited to propose targeted concepts that optimise carbon storage, and benefits for conservation and Aboriginal people in Karijini National Park, Ord River, Ningaloo Coast, Shark Bay to Geraldton, Wanjarri Nature Reserve, Wheatbelt reserves and the Swan Coastal area.

Carbon for Conservation will operate in two stages: the release of an Opportunity Statement inviting carbon farming concepts in candidate sites, followed by the development of a business case for successful proposals.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will administer the initiative. More information is available at http://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-finance/market-led-proposals

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

"The McGowan Government is committed to working with all sectors of the economy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as well as recover jobs lost during the pandemic.

"Problem and Opportunity Statements and Market-led Proposals streamline processes to bring Government and industry together more quickly and efficiently with innovative proposals to stimulate the economy.

"Private sector investment in Carbon for Conservation has the potential to deliver benefits that go beyond carbon credits and enhanced social licence to operate.

"It has the potential to support on-country jobs for Aboriginal people, enhancing already successful partnerships with traditional owner groups and leveraging other initiatives such as the Aboriginal Ranger Program and Plan for Our Parks.

"Importantly, Carbon for Conservation proposals will only proceed to practical delivery following consultation and support of traditional owners. 

"The potential environmental benefits of Carbon for Conservation are wide ranging, with enhanced management of our national parks and reserves to increase carbon stores through improved native vegetation cover, revegetation, weed and feral herbivore control and other targeted measures."