Accounting for Natural Capital on Farms
In 2021, the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, in partnership with Landcare Australia, delivered a six month pilot project trialling the Level 3 Accounting for Nature and Landcare methods.
Accounting for Nature is a series of accredited assessment methods to 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.
A Level 3 entry into the Accounting for Nature methods can assist farmers go on to develop Level 1 accounts which may in future be registered under carbon and biodiversity stewardship payment schemes. It is also an opportunity for farms to demonstrate evidence-based eco-credentials and attract supply chain premiums.
Three demonstration sites tested the Level 3 soil and native vegetation methods and suggestions were made to Accounting for Nature to improve these methods. A farm walk was held in February 2021 with the Smart Farming for Western Port discussion group on the Mornington Peninsula. There were 50 attendees showing a growing interest in methods for accounting for natural capital on farms.
A small group of landholders followed up and commenced benchmarking data for their farms. Two farm walks supported by the RALF project were held with Bass Coast Landcare Network’s Smart Farming for Western Port discussion groups. As a result of these activities, enough interest has been generated to continue the project into 2021-22 (depending on continuing funding) with a focus on developing full natural capital accounts for at least six farms.
Presentations from workshops
This project is supported by PPWCMA through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation through the Eldon & Anne Foote Trust.
- Landcare Australia – Landcare Farming Benchmarking Projects
- Accounting for Nature – methods
- Australian Farm Institute – Farm Biodiversity Scheme
- Australian National University – Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Pilot Program
- Australian Government – Paying farmers for biodiversity in combination with carbon pilot