Praise for tree-planting

CLIMATE-CHANGE minister Nick McKim has congratulated Greening Australia and the University of Tasmania on the start of a project to plant more than 30,000 trees in the Upper Derwent Valley with the aim of restoring dry landscapes and conserving biodiversity. Titled “Biodiverse carbon for landscape restoration: The establishment of a permanent research site in the Derwent Catchment, the project is being is being funded by the Tasmanian Government and the Australian Research Council.

>Mr McKim said the State Government would provide $540,000 over five years for the establishment of permanent “biodiverse carbon restoration research sites” at Hamilton and Bothwell. “This project provides an opportunity for Tasmania to lead the development of a major climate change adaptation and mitigation solution for Australia,” Mr McKim said. “Climate change projections show that the agricultural landscape in Tasmania’s midlands will become warmer and drier.”

“To help prepare for changes in conditions, the project team has this week started planting genetic strains of locally sourced native Tasmanian species that have an ability to survive and grow in low rainfall regions. The reforestation of this private land will build resilience into the landscape to allow for the movement of species of plants and animals that is anticipated with climate change,” he said.

Mr McKim said the project had the potential to improve agricultural productivity and property values by restoring degraded landscapes. “It will also highlight opportunities to develop new income stream models for landholders in the carbon market, as well as new models for securing private land conservation and reforestation through forestry right covenants for biosequestration. The information from the project will be used by land owners, land managers and government in planning for future resource management and policy.”

The project is also supported by a number of Tasmanian businesses offsetting their carbon emissions including Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, Stornoway, and Targa Tasmania.

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