How to Increase Biodiversity in a Carbon Project

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A natural ecosystem works best when it features many diverse and locally appropriate species.


Increasing biodiversity means the environment is more robust, more resilient, and better able to support the needs of a variety of species. 


In recognition of this added value, carbon projects with more biodiverse outcomes or other co-benefits have been attracting a price premium on the voluntary market for some time. The Australian Government’s Nature Repair Act, which came into effect in December 2023, aims to formally recognise the value of biodiversity through a new national market for tradeable biodiversity certificates. 


Since CFF launched, we’ve been committed to working with clients to build as much biodiversity into carbon projects as possible. We’ve learnt a lot from being involved in projects like WeelhambyCanna and Heartwood and are keen to share these learnings with you!


Tips to enhance biodiversity in carbon projects


1. Maintain and connect areas of remnant vegetation

Unfortunately, much of Australia’s wildlife habitat has been lost or fragmented due to land clearing. Many farms have blocks of remnant vegetation which, when connected, can form valuable ‘wildlife corridors’


Designing your planting project to link patches of trees together allows wildlife to safely cross the land, disperse seeds across the landscape and maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations. You can build these connections by expanding the size of vegetated areas to meet in the middle or strategically planting shelterbelts across your farm. 


2. Always plan for more species rather than less

Whether your focus is on building soil organic carbon with cover cropping or generating carbon credits through reforestation, it pays to include more local species in the mix. Biodiverse plantings are more resilient against pests and climate stress and ultimately more likely to succeed over the length of a project. 


For soil carbon projects, the beneficial macroinvertebrates and fungi in healthy soils love a diverse range of cover crops. Seeding a range of crops also comes with additional benefits such as increased productivity, nutrient availability, and the ability of the land to hold and cycle fresh water, which is a huge boost to the farming operation.


The same applies to tree planting – a more diverse species mix improves water quality and habitat structure for local species. 


3. Fencing is key

Once the hard work of revegetation is underway, it pays to add protection. Fencing your planting areas to exclude livestock will limit grazing pressure and allow seedlings to establish.


Fencing is also crucial for waterways and wetlands which are hotspots for wildlife and healthy ecosystem function. Excluding livestock prevents damage from erosion and compaction and keeps nutrients out of waterways where they can reduce water quality.


4. Include co-benefits for livestock by creating shelterbelts

Clever design means that areas set aside for revegetation can also benefit farm productivity. Shelterbelts contribute to the health and well-being of livestock, especially new calves and lambs, by providing shelter and shade. 


5. Control introduced species 

Controlling weeds in patches of remnant vegetation or revegetation reduces competition for resources like water and sunlight, which gives native plants an increased chance of survival. 


Keeping on top of invasive predator species like cats and foxes is also important to protect native wildlife. 


Ready to find out more?

Explore our range of educational resources in our Carbon Farming Education Hub where we frequently publish educational articles, webinars, and guidebooks. 


When you’re ready to explore the feasibility of undertaking a carbon project on your property, email us at or give us a bell at (08) 6835 1140 to be connected with one of our project facilitators.

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