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10 November 2020.

Until more details emerge, AgForce is urging caution about a new Reef credit scheme, a system similar to the carbon credit trading scheme.

A Reef credit is generated by undertaking an approved project method that improves the quality of water entering the Reef and can be sold to government, private industry, or philanthropists.

The scheme – managed by natural resource management groups Terrain NRM, NQ Dry Tropics NRM group, and GreenCollar – so far only has one approved method: to reduce the use of nitrogen fertiliser by using prescribed nitrogen use efficiency methods.

There is a second method. However, it is still under assessment: sediment reduction from gully rehabilitation.

Recently, the Queensland Government, and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation HSBC, invested one million dollars into Reef credits for their environmental social licence and to help save the Reef.

The future demand for Reef credits depends on the willingness of other international companies to invest in this new eco-market.

And until more is known, AgForce recommends all land managers read the fine print, to weight the value of a Reef credit against the cost of implementing, monitoring, and maintaining this expensive activity, and to seek the true value of a Reef credit before considering the scheme.

You can find out more by contacting AgForce Senior Policy Officer Marie Vitelli vitellim@agforceqld.org.au.