FARM POLICY JOURNAL

Spring 2019, Vol. 16, No. 3

Managing agriculture’s ecosystem services

As part of building Australian agriculture into $100 billion industry, the National Farmers’ Federation has called in their 2030 Roadmap for ecosystem services to equal 5% of net farmgate revenue in the next decade. The Spring edition of the Farm Policy Journal outlines what ecosystem services are, how they might be delivered and examines the potential for what will essentially be a new sector for Australian agriculture.  

Ecosystem services provide the opportunity for new sources of income and incentivisation for protection of Australian agriculture’s natural capital. However, there are pitfalls in supporting and enabling legislation that need to be carefully managed and further research is required to provide the confidence for all stakeholders to participate and realise that value.

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Natural capital: a paradigm shift in economic and environmental solutions

Michael Guerin and Rowan Foley

Throughout history, farmers have been the backbone of society, providing two essential needs – food and clothing. But increasingly, they are being required to undertake the heavy lifting on a range of environmental issues, both actual and perceived. These include climate change, reef degradation, reduced biodiversity, soil erosion, and deforestation. Government effort on these issues has focused on imposing ever-harsher and more complex laws enforced by punitive penalties on primary producers. Buy now


Harmonisation of on-farm metrics for sustainability assessment of Australian agricultural industries

Jacqueline Williams, Rhiannon Smith, Alex Ball, Nick Reid and Lewis Kahn

A growing number of national and international sustainable agriculture certification/recognition schemes, often referencing Best Management Practices (BMPs), are being developed with the aim of improving agricultural practices and recognising and rewarding land managers who can demonstrate steps towards minimising their environmental footprint. Buy now


Lessons from the UK on ecosystem services models

Samuel Admassu, Teresa Fox and Katie McRobert

Payment for ecosystem services (PES) as both reward and incentive to those who invest in care for the environment is becoming a popular mechanism to protect biodiversity and natural environments throughout the world. PES schemes such as those established in the UK offer frameworks to conserve the environment and simultaneously offer new sources of farm-based income. Buy now


Are grazing systems inherently carbon neutral?

Richard Eckard and Robert White

Over the past 20 years both the physical and policy implications of climate change have started to impact agriculture in Australia. The COP21 Paris agreement committed countries to target net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. In response, a small number of graziers claim their systems to be carbon (C) positive, due to the extensive C captured by their pastures, indicating a misunderstanding of the fate of C in grazing systems. Buy now


Farmers and environmental law:
the EPBC review

Wendy Craik

In March 2018, Dr Wendy Craik was engaged to undertake a targeted review for the Australian Government to find ways to better support farmers under the national environment law. The review of Interactions between the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 and the agriculture sector was released in June 2019. Buy now


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