Accounting for natural capital on farms

12 April 2021

The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, in partnership with Landcare Australia, is undertaking a six month pilot project trialling the Accounting for Nature and Landcare Level 3 assessment methods.

These accredited assessment methods measure the condition of environmental assets (such as native vegetation and soils) on farms at a property scale. They are designed to ensure the integrity and transparency of environmental accounts.

The project is being delivered through a series of face-to-face and online events. Two introductory events were held in February and March 2021.

Learning on the ground

In late February,  the PPWCMA in partnership with Landcare Australia, Western Port Catchment Landcare Network (as part of their Smart Farming for Western Port project) and Mornington Peninsula Shire held a workshop at Barragunda Farm for a local farmer discussion group and Landcare members to discuss the pilot project.

Over 50 landholders attended the information session to learn more about the project. They were taken on a farm walk to look at the sites where soil condition and native vegetation condition were measured and went through the methods used for each.

Declan McDonald from Regen Soils lead a lively discussion on soil health indicators and PPWCMA’s Regional Agriculture Facilitator, Karen Thomas, explained how to collate reference benchmarks for native vegetation using the Accounting for Nature methods.

A group of landholders have volunteered to develop reference benchmarks for their own properties and conduct the field measurements.

Continuing the learning online

As a follow up to the February event, PPWCMA hosted a webinar in March to provide further details about trialling the Accounting for Nature and Landcare Level 3 assessment methods to communicate the information to a wider audience.

Guests heard from:

  • Rowan Ewing – Landcare Farming Program
  • Karen Thomas – Native vegetation assessment method
  • Declan McDonald – Soils assessment method
  • Oscar Pearse – Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework

A copy of the presentation, and more information on the pilot project can be viewed on the Accounting for Nature web page.