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The Australian Conservation Foundation today welcomed the federal government’s call for projects to be financed by the new biodiversity fund, resourced with money generated through the clean energy legislation.
Putting a price on pollution will mean additional funding of $946 million over six years to help land managers store carbon and help the environment to deal with the effects of climate change.
There are currently about 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon stored in the national conservation estate of forests and woodlands, equal to 5.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.
There is an urgent need to boost investment from carbon price revenue and the removal of pollution subsidies into action that reverses the decline of Australian ecosystems and secures their capacity to store and sequester carbon,” — Dr Paul Sinclair, ACF healthy ecosystems program manager
“These natural services are vital to the prosperity of the Australian community and economy,” Dr Sinclair said.
For example, a recent report released by the federal government found climate change threatened the natural capacity of the Australian Alps to provide about 9,600 gigalitres of high quality water to the Murray-Darling Basin. That’s about 24 times the annual water consumption of Melbourne and 20 times Sydney’s annual consumption.
In South Australia alone large-scale reafforestation could deliver substantial carbon sequestration, improve agricultural sector income by $1 billion annually, enhance water quality and biodiversity and reduce land degradation.
Degraded and impoverished ecosystems store less carbon, less securely than healthy ecosystems. It’s in our national interest to increase our efforts to protect the environment and its carbon stores, water, and wildlife,” said Dr Sinclair.