Article by: Hari Yellina
The government’s new biodiversity management strategy features a new certification stamp that producers may use to market their products. The Coalition’s concept of a voluntary biodiversity market is built on the successful parts of the government’s increasing residual vegetation and native tree planting projects, according to the policy statement. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud stated that the government wanted farmers to be free to use less productive land to promote biodiversity, which would result in more income for farmers as well as environmental benefits that markets and investors were increasingly seeking. Mr Littleproud explained, “With this in mind, we’ve researched and produced the elements for the voluntary market.”
“We’ve tested science-based biodiversity service pilots with farmers and built tools to assist them in finding buyers and marketing their accomplishments.” We’ve also drafted laws to establish racing rules. Primary producers will be given a certification stamp and standard as part of the Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme, allowing them to show off their biodiversity credentials to communities and markets. The Australian National University produced the scheme standard, which outlines how farms will be certified based on the health of native flora on their site in comparison to their region, as well as their continued commitment to biodiversity. Farmers could use the Australian Farm Biodiversity Certified stamp in a variety of ways, according to Mr Littleproud, to enhance their product marketing and promotion.
Mr Littleproud stated, “This voluntary scheme will give a scientifically valid, independent assessment of biodiversity outcomes on farm.” This will assist farmers in pursuing increased market interest in sustainability both domestically and internationally. The National Stewardship Trading Platform, which is available for commerce and helps farmers to organise projects or find clients for their biodiversity initiatives, is also included in the biodiversity policy. “We’ve also introduced legislation in Parliament to establish the market’s legal structure, and we’ve set aside $27.3 million in the 2022 Budget to address significant lessons learned from the pilots,” Mr Littleproud said. “New funding will make it easier to participate in the market, with help from Natural Resource Management organisations and computerised trading.” To support market trust, we’ll also invest in baseline data and remote sensing. Farmers are stewards of more than half of the land, and this package will recognise and reward farmers who actively manage their land to protect or enhance biodiversity.