Salinity risk mapping for carbon farming

Salinity risk mapping provides managers with information to assess tree planting proposals for carbon sequestration. The Agriculture and Food division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has incorporated this information into a process for regional natural resource management organisations and other organisations and businesses to assess carbon farming opportunities.

Salinity affects carbon farming

Under the Carbon Farming Initiative, proponents need to consider regional natural resource management (NRM) plans to ensure that tree plantings for carbon bio-sequestration maximise environmental benefits and avoid unintended adverse effects on biodiversity, water and agricultural production systems. Regional NRM organisations therefore have a role to play in assessing carbon bio-sequestration tree plantings.

The Carbon Credits Regulations stipulate that in areas receiving more than 600mm average annual rainfall, a plantation must help to mitigate dryland salinity to qualify as a carbon offset project. The salinity guidelines outline how a proponent may demonstrate that a plantation in a particular location will contribute to mitigating dryland salinity. In Western Australia, the prescribed method most likely to be applicable requires reference to an approved salinity risk map. The department published a salinity risk map for the south-west agricultural region in the Report card on sustainable natural resource use in agriculture. The map is the basis for a decision support process for assessing tree planting proposals under the Carbon Farming Initiative.

This figure shows the salinity risk for the whole south-west agricultural region of Western Australia in 2007 to 2012.
Salinity risk map for the south-west agricultural region. The map is the basis for a decision support process for assessing CFI tree planting proposals.

For more information

Resource management technical report 390, Salinity risk mapping for assessing Carbon Farming Initiative proposals: decision support and data requirements, outlines a process that a regional NRM organisation in Western Australia can apply to a carbon bio-sequestration tree planting proposal that is compliant with the guidelines. The process also aims to protect water resources, taking into consideration the water resources legislation currently operating in this state. 

Contact information

Paul Raper
+61 (0)8 9780 6295
Page last updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2017 - 12:19pm