National Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Program

Key outcomes

  • Helped farmers in the region to be rewarded for their efforts as responsible stewards of the land.  
  • Developed a national protocol for high biodiversity environmental plantings in the South West region, for carbon farming and co-benefit valuation.
  • Contributed towards the research base that supports the Australian Government’s Nature Repair Market, driving investment in nature and diversification of farm income. 

South West NRM has partnered with the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and Australian National University (ANU) to deliver a suite of programs tailored to the South West region under the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package.

South West NRM was one of only six regions across Australia chosen to design and deliver pilots for valuing on-farm biodiversity. The results of pilots were used to develop the legislation and regulatory framework for the emerging Nature Repair Market

Farmer with dogs

Carbon & Biodiversity Pilot

The $23.5 million Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot encourages farmers to plant mixed species native trees and shrubs on their land, to increase biodiversity and remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Successful applicants  registered their planting projects through the Emissions Reduction Fund to access Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). These can be sold to the Government or private businesses or be retained as a step towards carbon neutrality. The Department provided payments in addition to the ACCUs, to recognise the biodiversity benefits of the emissions reduction project.

Working with ANU, South West NRM developed program protocols specific to the South West to ensure maximum benefits for the region’s farmers and environment. We worked with successful applicants to design their carbon farming projects to improve biodiversity and address land constraints such as salinity and waterlogging. 

Enhanced Remnant Vegetation Pilot

The $22.3 million Enhanced Remnant Vegetation Pilot aims to create a credible and sustainable market mechanism that improves biodiversity and creates new income opportunities for farmers.

The Pilot puts a value on farm native vegetation, allowing farmers to diversify their business while building environmental benefits such as drought resilience and wildlife habitat.

Fencing, replanting, weed and pest control are among the activities funded by the Pilot. As well as helping to design the program, South West NRM undertook site assessments on behalf of the Department to assist with the assessment of applications. We’re also working closely with successful farmers to ensure successful project delivery.

Our project partners

Other projects