Victorian Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) have gained valuable experience in carbon sequestration analysis methodology and prediction of complementary co-benefits in partnership with water corporations in recent years.

Catchment Carbon Offsets Trial

The Victorian CMAs undertook a Statewide Catchment Carbon Offsets trial in 2017-18. This Statewide climate change project was aimed at complementing Victorian government policies and strategies relating to climate change, water, catchment management and biodiversity by demonstrating how projects could deliver emissions reductions, climate resilience and improve catchment management outcomes. The project was a collaboration between the Victorian water sector, which comprises Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs), Water Corporations and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).  The catchment carbon offset (CCO) concept was framed around the idea of projects being designed to retain and increase carbon stocks to meet Water Corporation’s emission reductions requirement while simultaneously providing environmental and social benefits that are consistent with regional NRM planning frameworks, programs and targets. To test this concept a case study was undertaken with Wannon Water, Corangamite CMA and Glenelg Hopkins CMA.

Catchment Carbon Offsets Trial Further Reading

Catchment Carbon Offsets Trial Final Report

Gellibrand River case study

Catchment Carbon Offsets Trial Project Summary

Catchment Carbon Offsets Trial YouTube Presentation

View a YouTube recording of a presentation by Jacobs providing an overview of the catchment carbon offsets trial and the development and testing of a case study involving Wannon Water and Corangamite and Glenelg Hopkins CMAs. The project is funded through the Victorian Government's Our Catchments Our Communities initiative.

Growing Carbon in Victorian CMA regions 

The 2017-18 Catchment Carbon Offsets Trial developed and piloted (in a case study) an effective framework by which CMAs and water corporations can collaborate in generating carbon offsets that also build landscape climate resilience and provide complementary catchment-scale environmental and socio-economic benefits.

In 2019, the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA), in partnership with water corporations, engaged a suitably qualified consultant to provide a carbon sequestration analysis including the potential carbon yields, the costs for implementation and the process for registering and securing credits under three identified scenarios. These included environmental plantings on private or public land and farm forestry planting on private land.

As a result of this work PPWCMA and the water corporations have a greater understanding of how much carbon would be expected to be sequestered under three scenarios including the annual carbon yields and the carbon accumulation profile. They also have an indication of the key cost elements associated with implementing the program in each scenario and overall costs per tonne of carbon for each scenario and each hypothetical location across the PPWCMA region.

Current projects

Victorian CMAs have current projects that will provide further knowledge and experience, which will be useful to support water corporations meet their ambitious emissions reduction obligations.

Building on the PPWCMA work, Victorian CMAs in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and water corporations are undertaking a Statewide carbon sequestration analysis project. A carbon sequestration analysis is being undertaken in nine CMA regions to examine potential carbon yields, implementation costs and identification of complementary environmental and socio-economic benefits (co-benefits).  This involves an analysis of the Environmental Plantings and Plantation Forestry Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) methods on private land.

Complementary to the Statewide project, PPWCMA and water corporations are also delivering a ‘real world’ pilot project as a proof-of-concept of the Growing Carbon project.  The pilot will test the initial governance processes, implementation arrangements and costings including landholder negotiation, site selection, site preparation, revegetation, maintenance, cost sharing arrangements and carbon accreditation processes. See the PPWCMA website for further information on the Growing Carbon project. 

The learnings and processes followed during the pilot, coupled with the results of the Statewide carbon sequestration analysis project, could potentially be scaled up to a Statewide program in the future.

This page was updated on 17 May 2021.