Delve deeper into our newest Australian product offering
Do you have a question about South Pole's EcoAustralia™ credits? We've created a list of commonly asked questions and answered them for you below.
If your question isn't answered, or you just want to learn more about how you and your organisation can drive down emissions and take climate action with EcoAustralia™,
get in touch with our team directly.
You can also find more information about EcoAustralia™ on our EcoAustralia™ credits webpage, or by visiting the South Pole Australia website.
What is EcoAustralia™?
EcoAustralia™ is an award-winning stapled carbon credit product, pioneered by South Pole in partnership with Australian biodiversity protection organisation, Cassinia Environmental. The product blends state government-accredited biodiversity protection with international carbon credits. Thanks to EcoAustralia™, Australian organisations now have a unique opportunity to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions while contributing to the regeneration and preservation of Australia's most vulnerable ecosystem types.
What does EcoAustralia™ guarantee?
EcoAustralia™ credits guarantee the protection and improvement of Australia's remaining high quality native vegetation, while at the same time allowing organisations to offset unavoidable emissions by supporting internationally verified emission reduction projects.
How does EcoAustralia™ ensure both carbon compensation and biodiversity protection?
Each EcoAustralia credit combines 1 Australian Biodiversity Unit (ABU) with a 1 tonne carbon credit. Each ABU represents 1.5 m2 of government-accredited habitat protection. A covenant placed on the land title ensures that vegetation is managed for conservation in perpetuity. Each carbon credit represents 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) avoided or removed from the atmosphere. Carbon credits for EcoAustralia are sourced from high quality international emission reduction projects certified by internationally recognised carbon standards.
What is an Australian Biodiversity Unit (ABU)?
An Australian Biodiversity Unit (ABU) is a South Pole-standardised unit that represents 1.5 m 2 of protected land delivering biodiversity outcomes for Australian flora and fauna species. ABUs are a division of the larger biodiversity units used on the state-based Native Vegetation Credit Registers, termed a Biodiversity Equivalence Unit (BEU) in Victoria and a Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) in South Australia. The state-based units vary in land area based on complex evaluations of vegetation quality, habitat types and expected improvements on the site. The issued BEUs/SEBs are divided into standardised 1.5 m2 ABUs by Vegetation Link, an independent third party, who manage the ABU registry to ensure transparent allocation to EcoAustralia™ buyers.
What makes EcoAustralia™ unique?
The first of its kind, the EcoAustralia™ product leverages Australia's state-based vegetation registers – previously only accessible to organisations with legal obligations to offset vegetation removal – and gives voluntary buyers the chance to make permanent contributions to government-accredited biodiversity conservation, while at the same time meeting internal emission reduction targets.
By working within the state schemes, EcoAustralia™ ensures that contributions to conservation are robust, measurable and verified, drawing on accepted scientific practice to evaluate habitats and measure biodiversity.
Because EcoAustralia™ allows buyers to support Australian biodiversity conservation projects voluntarily – i.e. there is no corresponding vegetation removal to offset – all contributions achieved through EcoAustralia™ are purely additional.
Who are the partner organisations involved in EcoAustralia™?
EcoAustralia™ is made possible through partnerships with the following organisations:
Cassinia Environmental is a leader in landscape restoration and biodiversity protection, delivering projects that restore and protect Australia's natural systems. With a focus on the reconnection of fragmented landscapes through biodiversity-based revegetation projects, Cassinia delivers conservation and land management that is both productive and ecologically resilient. Together with South Pole, Cassinia is working to make biodiversity-based conservation accessible to a voluntary market, for contributions that go above and beyond offsetting vegetation removal and instead deliver tangible and additional benefits to native land conservation.
Trust For Nature, a not-for-profit organisation, is one of Australia's oldest conservation organisations, working to protect and secure habitat in Victoria where wildlife and native plants can thrive. The organisation administers on-title agreements, known as conservation covenants – a legally binding way for landowners to conserve natural habitat on their sites in perpetuity. Over the last 45 years, Trust For Nature have permanently secured over 100,000 hectares of private land in places that are home to some of Australia's rarest species. Our Victorian EcoAustralia™ conservation project sites are protected in perpetuity using Trust For Nature conservation covenants.
The Native Vegetation Council is an independent body established by the South Australian Native Vegetation Act 1991. The Council is appointed by the Minister for Environment and Water to monitor the overall condition of native vegetation in South Australia and make decisions on a wide range of vegetation-related matters. The Native Vegetation Council also makes recommendations for the protection of sites to Management Plan conditions. Sites are protected in perpetuity with a Management Agreement on title.
Vegetation Link is an independent third party who specialise in transactions of vegetation offsets. For EcoAustralia™, Vegetation Link functions to manage the conversion of the state-based biodiversity units to South Pole's standardised ABUs on an internal registry.
What areas are currently protected under EcoAustralia™?
EcoAustralia™ currently supports three conservation projects: two in Victoria and one in South Australia.
The Mount Sandy Conservation project is a rare pocket of intact native vegetation in South Australia's Coorong region located on the traditional lands of the Ngarrindjeri people. Management at the project site is made possible through close collaboration with the nearby Raukkan Aboriginal Community.
The Myamyn Lowland Conservation project encompasses sections of the Annya State forest. The land was illegally cleared around a decade ago and then replanted with non-native species. The project replants the area with natural vegetation, helping to preserve the habitat of endangered native species such as the Scented Spider-orchid, the Powerful Owl, and the Long-nosed Potoroo.
The Lavers Hill Conservation project*, situated in the Otway Rainforest, is one of the wettest and most biodiverse areas in Victoria.The project guarantees the protection of this unique area, managing threats from encroaching properties.
*Please note: The Lavers Hill conservation project has reached its allocation and is now sold out.
Where are the carbon credits sourced?
The carbon offset component of EcoAustralia credits is sourced from high-quality emission reduction projects that are registered under internationally-recognised standards, such as Gold Standard or Verra. Buyers have the choice to buy carbon credits from a wide variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and projects. These projects not only generate emission reductions, but also create additional, measurable co-benefits that work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
How do EcoAustralia™ credits support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
Our EcoAustralia™ portfolio of conservation and emission reduction projects support a range of co-benefits that make quantifiable contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as outlined in the table below:
|Mount Sandy Conservation|
|Myamyn Lowland Forest Conservation|
|Gold Standard Wind|
|Gold Standard Energy Efficiency|
|Gold Standard Wind|
If your organisation is supporting specific SDGs that you would like your EcoAustralia™ purchase to work towards, our project offering can also be customised to meet these requirements. Please get in touch for more information.
Are EcoAustralia™ credits compatible with the Australian Government's National Carbon Offset Standard?
Organisations looking to go Carbon Neutral against the Australian Government's National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) can do so with EcoAustralia credits. This is because the Gold Standard and VCS carbon credit component of EcoAustralia is on the Department's list of eligible offset units (available for download here).
If you are interested in exploring carbon neutral certification under the Climate Active Program for your organisation through EcoAustralia™ credits or otherwise, please get in touch to discuss how South Pole can quantify your greenhouse gas footprint and provide eligible offsets for your emissions.
How is biodiversity protected permanently under EcoAustralia™ and partner organisations?
EcoAustralia™ investments facilitate the purchase of private property with significant biodiversity value that can then be managed for conservation purposes, conforming to the requirements for the Native Vegetation Credit Registers in the relevant states.
In partnership with Trust for Nature, a legally binding conservation covenant is applied to the property titles with the purpose of protecting the natural, cultural or scientific values of the land. The Trust's conservation covenants are entered into under the Victorian Conservation Trust Act 1972, registered on Title and are legally binding forever, i.e. in perpetuity.
In partnership with the Native Vegetation Council, a Management Agreement is entered into under the Native Vegetation Act 1991 which sets out management obligations in a Management Plan and protects the land in perpetuity.
In both cases, the change is on-title and passes to new landowners with any sale of the property. This ensures the land is protected exclusively for conservation, ruling out any future development, grazing, land clearing or other disturbance, whilst also committing the landowner to an appropriate and site-specific management plan to conserve the targeted biodiversity values.
The Native Vegetation Credit Registers are publically available for Victoria here, and for South Australia here.
Will there be EcoAustralia™ projects in other states?
South Pole is investigating the potential to develop biodiversity conservation projects in other Australian states, which each have their own unique legislation, registers and requirements.
How can we communicate about supporting EcoAustralia projects in our marketing?
When communicating about your support of EcoAustralia projects, it is important to clearly explain what they are and the role each part of the credit is playing. The carbon credit you have purchased offsets your emissions while the Australian Biodiversity Unit (ABU) delivers impact in Australia by protecting biodiversity-rich land.
If you are unsure or would like support to effectively communicate your climate action, please reach out to your South Pole representative.
Support the regeneration and preservation of Australian biodiversity and take action on climate change with EcoAustralia™ an innovative product that generates positive environmental, economic and social impacts in Australia and overseas.
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