Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot

The Agriculture Stewardship Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot is trialling arrangements to reward farmers for improving on-farm biodiversity together with carbon projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). The pilot is part of the wider $34 million commitment of the Australian Government to biodiversity stewardship on farms. The northern Tasmanian NRM region has been selected as one of six Australian regions to test the pilot.


Announced in April 2021, the pilot was part of the Australian Government’s $34 million Agriculture Stewardship Package which aimed to develop a market mechanism that rewards farmers for improving biodiversity on their land.

Working with the Australian National University, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment created the pilot as a first test in whether biodiversity payments would encourage farmers to participate in carbon offset plantings of mixed, native vegetation designed to provide additional benefits for biodiversity conservation. The plantings would also benefit farmers by providing shelter for livestock, improving soil moisture and reducing erosion.

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Core Elements

The Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot has five core elements:

  1. Plantings must be protected and maintained for a minimum of 25 years in accordance with ERF requirements. Participants will be required to undertake new ERF environmental plantings projects involving reforestation through either planting or direct seeding of native tree and shrub species. Participants will also need to ensure they satisfy relevant ERF participant obligations, including in relation to measurement, reporting and auditing.
  2. Projects will also need to comply with the Carbon + Biodiversity planting protocol and reporting requirements. The planting protocol sets out rules about the location, dimensions, configuration and composition of plantings to ensure projects generate biodiversity benefits.
  3. Projects contracted will receive biodiversity payments over the course of the project. Payments will be contingent on the satisfaction of relevant Pilot requirements, including the planting protocol.
  4. Projects that meet ERF requirements, as determined by the Clean Energy Regulator, will be able to receive Australian carbon credit units (ACCU) for the carbon sequestered in the planting project. Participants can sell, keep or cancel any ACCUs they receive for the projects.
  5. Once registered under the ERF, the projects will be subject to the ERF permanence requirements.


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Eligible municipalities and planting guides

Eight municipalities are in the northern Tasmania NRM region. To assist with plant planning, the following links provide lists of species that are relatively easy to grown or to purchase from a native plant nursery. Common plants, as well as uncommon species that have limited distribution in the area, are included.

map NRM North

Northern Tasmania has been selected as one of six regions to trial the program.


Under the pilot, farmers who plant native trees using the stipulated protocol will receive payments for biodiversity outcomes.


Under the pilot, farmers who plant native trees – in line with a biodiversity protocol developed by the Australian National University (ANU) – will receive payments for biodiversity outcomes. These payments will be in addition to earnings a landholder might receive for their carbon abatement.

Eligible activities will build on ERF carbon projects.

Examples could include:

  • planting, managing and looking after vegetation; and
  • regenerating gullies, waterways and degraded hillsides.

These plantings can also benefit farmers by providing shelter for livestock, improving soil moisture and reducing erosion. 

Applications now closed.


This project is funded by the Australian Government.

Support & enquiries

NRM North is supporting the delivery of the pilot in northern Tasmania.

For regional support and project design, contact:

Adrian James

Land Program Manager

Mobile: 0408 863 653


For technical enquiries on the pilot or ag stewardship program:


Enquiries about the program can also be directed to or 1800 329 055.