Actions and Carbon Planting Priorities

>  Port Phillip and Westernport CMA

Carbon planting priorities and adapting to climate change differ across the 7 sub-regions of the Port Phillip and Western Port region. Information and maps described here are taken from research completed by CSIRO and other research bodies as part of the SCARPS project. This page provides some guidance on possible actions for land managers to consider for mitigating risks of climate change. To view specific points of interest, please click on the map tab which displays an interactive map of carbon planting priorities in this region.

Moorabool, Melton, Wyndham and Greater Geelong

The main environmental assets in the Moorabool, Melton, Wyndham and Greater Geelong area identified as sensitive to significant future climate change are:

  • Large areas of native vegetation in the Brisbane Ranges National Park and the You Yangs, Werribee Gorge and Lerderderg Regional and State Parks.  Also in the north-south corridor from Lerderderg State Park to Long Forest Fauna and Flora Reserve.
  • The upper reaches of the Werribee River and its tributaries south of the Great Divide to Bacchus Marsh and Melton. 
  • Numerous freshwater wetlands, particularly across the volcanic plains and coastal wetlands at Point Cook. 
  • Soils across the north-western third of the region, particularly west of the Rowsley Fault where soils occur on steeper slopes and where increased wind and water erosion risk is created under climate-induced vegetation loss and more frequent intense fire.  Soils on the coast near Little River may be made sensitive to saltwater flooding by rising sea levels.

Priorities for carbon plantings

Large-scale plantings of new vegetation to sequester carbon will be best placed where they can also achieve biodiversity benefits in the local landscapes including increased connectedness of native habitat. 

There is HIGH priority for plantings that contribute to the development of:

  • the Brisbane Ranges to Lerderderg State Park Nature Link;
  • the Brisbane Ranges to You Yangs Nature Link; and
  • the Werribee River Nature Link.

In addition, the coastal vegetation and soils on the western shoreline of Port Phillip Bay are considered to hold significant stores of carbon.  It is therefore a VERY HIGH priority to protect these ‘blue carbon’ stores through activities such as fencing, management of pests and overuse to ensure vegetation extent and quality are maintained, and revegetation in the Port Phillip Bay Western Shoreline Nature Link.

Adapting to the changing climate

To contribute to the future health and the resilience of natural assets and ecosystems under changing climate, land and water management organisations, community groups and landholders should also consider a range of actions to adapt to a changing climate such as:

  • Maintain and preferably improve the extent and quality of existing native vegetation.  Revegetation should continue with local provenance species but there may be future evidence to support including species that may be more tolerant of a warmer, dryer climate.
  • Improve and protect waterway corridors and wetlands as refuges for native flora and fauna in times of climate-related stress.  This may include fencing these areas off, revegetation, seeking to maintain environmentally-important water levels and connecting them to other patches of habitat via vegetation links.
  • Maintain ground cover on rural land, especially during periods of drought.
  • Contribute to collective action and learning by supporting Landcare and other community or rural industry-based organisations.  Support citizen science about climate change effects with activities such as monitoring changes to vegetation extent, quality, flowering, seed-set and recruitment.

Macedon Ranges, Hume, Mitchell and Whittlesea

The main environmental assets in the Macedon Ranges, Hume, Mitchell and Whittlesea area identified as sensitive to significant future climate change are:

  • Large areas of native vegetation in Macedon and along the Great Divide north of Cobaw, Lancefield and Whittlesea. Also in the valleys of the upper Deep Creek and Merri Creek and in conservation reserves at Woodlands and Jacksons Creek.
  • Upper reaches of Deep Creek and Moonee Ponds Creek.
  • Numerous freshwater wetlands, particularly at Kalkallo and Wallan.
  • Soils on steeper slopes along the Divide around Macedon and south through Gisborne to Toolern Vale. Also in the Deep Creek catchment and on the hills north and east of Whittlesea where erosion risk is increased by climate-induced vegetation loss and more frequent intense fire. 

Priorities for carbon plantings

Large-scale plantings of new vegetation to sequester carbon will be best placed where they can also achieve biodiversity benefits in the local landscapes including increased connectedness of native habitat.

There is a VERY HIGH priority for plantings that contribute to the development of the ‘Nature Links’ in this area, namely:

  • Cobaw Range to Mt Disappointment Nature Link; 
  • Cobaw Range to Macedon Ranges Nature Link;
  • Merri Creek Nature Link; and
  • Maribyrnong River Nature Link.

Adapting to the changing climate

To contribute to the future health and the resilience of natural assets and ecosystems under changing climate, land and water management organisations, community groups and landholders should also consider a range of actions to adapt to a changing climate such as:

  • Maintain and preferably improve the extent and quality of existing native vegetation. Revegetation should continue with local provenance species but there may be future evidence to support including species that may be more tolerant of a warmer, dryer climate.
  • Improve and protect waterway corridors and wetlands as refuges for native flora and fauna in times of climate-related stress. This may include fencing these areas off, revegetation, seeking to maintain environmentally-important water levels and connecting them to other patches of habitat via vegetation links. 
  • Maintain ground cover on rural land, especially during periods of drought.
  • Contribute to collective action and learning by supporting Landcare and other community or rural industry-based organisations. Support citizen science about climate change effects with activities such as monitoring changes to vegetation extent, quality, flowering, seed-set and recruitment.

Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik

The main environmental assets in the Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik area identified as sensitive to significant future climate change are:

  • Large areas of native vegetation across the upper and middle catchments and tributaries of the Yarra River and the upper Bunyip and Tarago River catchments. Also, in the Dandenong Ranges between Silvan and Emerald.
  • The upper reaches of the Yarra, Tarago and Bunyip Rivers.
  • Soils across the majority of the Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik region, specifically on steeper slopes where increased wind and water erosion risk is created under climate-induced vegetation loss and more frequent intense fire. 

Priorities for carbon plantings

Large-scale plantings of new vegetation to sequester carbon will be best placed where they can also achieve biodiversity benefits in the local landscapes including increased connectedness of native habitat.

There is VERY HIGH priority for plantings that contribute to the development of the Yellingbo Nature Link.

Adapting to the changing climate

To contribute to the future health and the resilience of natural assets and ecosystems under changing climate, land and water management organisations, community groups and landholders should consider actions to:

  • Maintain and preferably improve the extent and quality of existing native vegetation. Revegetation should continue with local provenance species but there may be future evidence to support including species that may be more tolerant of a warmer, dryer climate.
  • Improve and protect waterway corridors and wetlands as refuges for native flora and fauna in times of climate-related stress. This may include fencing these areas off, revegetation, seeking to maintain environmentally-important water levels and connecting them to other patches of habitat via vegetation links. 
  • Maintain ground cover on rural land, especially during periods of drought.
  • Contribute to collective action and learning by supporting Landcare and other community or rural industry-based organisations. Support citizen science about climate change effects with activities such as monitoring changes to vegetation extent, quality, flowering, seed-set and recruitment.

Casey, Cardinia and Baw Baw

The main environmental assets in the Casey, Cardinia and Baw Baw area identified as sensitive to significant future climate change are:

  • Large areas of native vegetation between Beaconsfield and Drouin, including the Bunyip State Park and north and south of Drouin.
  • Small areas of native coastal vegetation between Quail Island and Tooradin.
  • Cardinia Creek in the Beaconsfield area.
  • Coastal wetlands across northern Western Port from Yaringa to Yallock Creek.
  • Soils between Narre Warren and Pakenham.

Priorities for carbon plantings

Large-scale plantings of new vegetation to sequester carbon will be best placed where they can also achieve biodiversity benefits in the local landscapes including increased connectedness of native habitat.

There is VERY HIGH priority for plantings that contribute to the development of the Upper Bunyip Nature Link.

In addition, the coastal vegetation and soils of Western Port Bay are considered to hold significant stores of blue carbon. It is therefore a VERY HIGH priority to protect these ‘blue carbon’ stores through activities such as fencing, management of pests and overuse to ensure vegetation extent and quality are maintained, and revegetation in the Western Port Coast Nature Link.

Adapting to the changing climate

To contribute to the future health and the resilience of natural assets and ecosystems under changing climate, land and water management organisations, community groups and landholders should consider actions to:

  • Maintain and preferably improve the extent and quality of existing native vegetation. Revegetation should continue with local provenance species but there may be future evidence to support including species that may be more tolerant of a warmer, dryer climate.
  • Improve and protect waterway corridors and wetlands as refuges for native flora and fauna in times of climate-related stress. This may include fencing these areas off, revegetation, seeking to maintain environmentally-important water levels and connecting them to other patches of habitat via vegetation links.
  • Maintain ground cover on rural land, especially during periods of drought.
  • Contribute to collective action and learning by supporting Landcare and other community or rural industry-based organisations.  Support citizen science about climate change effects with activities such as monitoring changes to vegetation extent, quality, flowering, seed-set and recruitment.

South Gippsland, Bass Coast and Islands

The main environmental assets in the South Gippsland, Bass Coast & Islands area identified as sensitive to significant future climate change are:

  • Areas of native vegetation north and south of Loch, The Gurdies, Grantville and Glen Forbes.
  • Coastal native vegetation on Phillip Island at Cape Woolamai, The Nobbies, Summerlands, Churchill Island and French Island.
  • The upper reaches of the Bass and Lang Lang Rivers.
  • Coastal wetlands on French Island and Rhyll.
  • Coastal soils on Phillip Island from Smith Beach to Woolamai, around Cowes and south of Ventnor

Priorities for carbon plantings

Large-scale plantings of new vegetation to sequester carbon will be best placed where they can also achieve biodiversity benefits in the local landscapes including increased connectedness of native habitat.

There is VERY HIGH priority for plantings that contribute to the development of the Western Port to Mount Worth Nature Link.

In addition, the coastal vegetation and soils of Western Port Bay are considered to hold significant stores of blue carbon. It is therefore a VERY HIGH priority to protect these ‘blue carbon’ stores through activities such as fencing, management of pests and overuse to ensure vegetation extent and quality are maintained, and revegetation for the Western Port Coast Nature Link.

Adapting to the changing climate

To contribute to the future health and the resilience of natural assets and ecosystems under changing climate, land and water management organisations, community groups and landholders should consider actions to:

  • Maintain and preferably improve the extent and quality of existing native vegetation. Revegetation should continue with local provenance species but there may be future evidence to support including species that may be more tolerant of a warmer, dryer climate.
  • Improve and protect waterway corridors and wetlands as refuges for native flora and fauna in times of climate-related stress. This may include fencing these areas off, revegetation, seeking to maintain environmentally-important water levels and connecting them to other patches of habitat via vegetation links.
  • Maintain ground cover on rural land, especially during periods of drought.
  • Contribute to collective action and learning by supporting Landcare and other community or rural industry-based organisations.  Support citizen science about climate change effects with activities such as monitoring changes to vegetation extent, quality, flowering, seed-set and recruitment.

Mornington Peninsula

The main environmental assets on the Mornington Peninsula identified as being sensitive to significant future climate change are:

  • Large areas of native vegetation at Tootgarook Swamp, HMAS Cerberus, and the Mornington Peninsula and Point Nepean National Parks.  Also, on public and private land scattered across the Peninsula.
  • Low-lying wetland at Tootgarook Swamp.
  • Soils around Arthurs Seat, between Hastings, Sandy Point and Balnarring on steep slopes and/or prone to increased wind and water erosion under climate-induced vegetation loss and more frequent intense fire. 

Priorities for carbon plantings

Large-scale plantings of new vegetation to sequester carbon will be best placed where they can also achieve biodiversity benefits in the local landscapes including increased connectedness of native habitat.

There is VERY HIGH priority for plantings that contribute to the development of the Mornington Peninsula Nature Link and the Mornington Peninsula National Park to Cerberus Nature Link in this area.

In addition, the coastal vegetation and soils of Port Phillip and Western Port Bays are considered to hold significant stores of blue carbon. It is therefore a VERY HIGH priority to protect these ‘blue carbon’ stores through activities such as fencing and management of pests and overuse to ensure vegetation extent and quality are maintained.

Adapting to the changing climate

To contribute to the future health and the resilience of natural assets and ecosystems under changing climate, land and water management organisations, community groups and landholders should consider actions to:

  • Maintain and preferably improve the extent and quality of existing native vegetation. Revegetation should continue with local provenance species but there may be future evidence to support including species that may be more tolerant of a warmer, dryer climate.
  • Improve and protect waterway corridors and wetlands as refuges for native flora and fauna in times of climate-related stress. This may include fencing these areas off, revegetation, seeking to maintain environmentally-important water levels and connecting them to other patches of habitat via vegetation links.
  • Maintain ground cover on rural land, especially during periods of drought.
  • Contribute to collective action and learning by supporting Landcare and other community or rural industry-based organisations.  Support citizen science about climate change effects with activities such as monitoring changes to vegetation extent, quality, flowering, seed-set and recruitment.

Urban Melbourne

The main environmental assets in the Urban Melbourne area identified as sensitive to significant future climate change are:

  • Native vegetation in the Yarra River and Maribyrnong River corridors.
  • Coastal wetlands at Laverton and Altona.
  •  Ramsar freshwater wetlands between Edithvale and Seaford.
  • Soils between Mordialloc and Frankston that are sensitive to rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion.

Priorities for carbon plantings

Large-scale plantings of new vegetation to sequester carbon will be best placed where they can also achieve biodiversity benefits in the local landscapes including increased connectedness of native habitat.

There is HIGH priority for plantings that contribute to the development of three ‘Nature Links’ in this area, namely:

  • Kororoit Creek Nature Link;
  • Dandenong Ranges to Port Phillip Bay Nature Link; and
  • Yarra River Nature Link.

In addition, the coastal vegetation and soils of Port Phillip Bay are considered to hold significant stores of blue carbon. It is therefore a VERY HIGH priority to protect these ‘blue carbon’ stores through activities such as fencing and management of pests and overuse to ensure vegetation extent and quality are maintained.

Adapting to the changing climate

To contribute to the future health and the resilience of natural assets and ecosystems under changing climate, land and water management organisations, community groups and landholders should consider actions to:

  • Maintain and preferably improve the extent and quality of existing native vegetation. Revegetation should continue with local provenance species but there may be future evidence to support including species that may be more tolerant of a warmer, dryer climate.
  • Improve and protect waterway corridors and wetlands as refuges for native flora and fauna in times of climate-related stress. This may include fencing these areas off, revegetation, seeking to maintain environmentally-important water levels and connecting them to other patches of habitat via vegetation links.
  • Maintain ground cover on rural land, especially during periods of drought.
  • Contribute to collective action and learning by supporting Landcare and other community or rural industry-based organisations.  Support citizen science about climate change effects with activities such as monitoring changes to vegetation extent, quality, flowering, seed-set and recruitment.

The rationale for carbon planting priorities and adaptation planning is derived from the following reports:

Please visit the Port Phillip & Westernport Regional Catchment Strategy for more information about carbon planting in this region.