August 25, 2021

An Australian Native Reforestation Project: The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor

Sanda Arambepola
An Australian Native Reforestation Project: The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor
This carbon offsetting project tackles climate change on a variety of fronts, from reforestation to scientific research.

Carbon offsetting provider Carbon Neutral’s native reforestation project, the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor, is located in Southwestern Australia – one of only 36 globally significant biodiversity hotspots recognised by Conservation International. These hotspots are the areas that are biologically rich, having a high percentage of plant life found nowhere else on the planet, and many of these are heavily threatened by habitat loss and other human activities.

Southwestern Australia’s northern agricultural region, which is approximately 400 kilometres north of Perth, has had 97% of its indigenous vegetation cleared for farming since the early 1900s. However, due to intense farming, dry climate, and soil issues, this region is no longer appropriate even for agriculture. All of this has led to the destruction of the environment, meaning many native species have lost their habitats.

The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor aims to revegetate this landscape with trees and shrub species that are indigenous to the region, bringing the land back to its natural condition. Having begun in 2008, the project to date has restored almost 14,000 hectares with more than 30 million mixed native species of trees and shrubs. The project developer’s goal is to create a 200-kilometre-long green corridor from the inland to the coast, reconnecting remnant vegetation with 12 nature reserves across a 10,000km2 area. They aim to encourage wildlife to return to this biodiversity hotspot while at the same time removing carbon from the atmosphere.

Project Impacts and Benefits

Carbon removal and climate change action

The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Project is the first premium Gold Standard project in Australia and it is certified to store carbon for 100 years. Carbon Neutral expects that over the project’s life, at least 967,695 tonnes of CO2 will be sequestered by the trees already in the ground. They expect these figures to grow as they continue their restoration process.

Social, economic and environmental benefits

This project not only has a positive impact on climate change but also makes meaningful social, economic, environmental, and heritage contributions, such as:

  • Providing employment for local First Nations peoples and liaising with Traditional Owners
  • Recognising Aboriginal heritage sites registered with the Department of Indigenous Affairs Registry
  • Increasing wildlife habitats and connectivity to remnant vegetation
  • Creating a wide-ranging habitat for over 450 native species, including endangered and declining flora and fauna
  • Improving soil and water erosion control while halting and reversing land degradation
  • Creating new industries in rural areas, supporting local businesses, and offering much more to organisations looking to offset their unavoidable emissions than simply storing carbon
  • Providing opportunities for scientific research, eco-tourism, and community education.

Moreover, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – including Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Climate Action, Life on Land, Partnerships for the Goals – have also been satisfied by the project.

If you liked this article, check out our Q&A with the CEO of Carbon Click, the NZ start-up changing the carbon offsetting game.

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