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Victorian CMAs statewide approach to climate change

Victorian Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) have been leading the way in planning for the impacts of climate change on the natural environment since 2012.

Since launching the regional climate change adaptation plans in 2015-16, the ten CMAs have been working together on Statewide climate change priorities and implemented several projects.

Snapshots can be found here:
Victorian CMAs climate change adaptation priorities; and
Victorian CMAs climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives

Statewide projects

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

There have been a series of projects continuing to investigate, trial and develop methods including:

Catchment Carbon Offsets Trial

The Victorian CMAs undertook a Statewide Catchment Carbon Offsets trial in 2017-18.  The project was a collaboration between the Victorian water sector, which comprises Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs), Water Corporations and the former Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).  The catchment carbon offset 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 information

Final Report
Gellibrand River case study
Project Summary
YouTube recording of a presentation by Jacobs

Growing Carbon in Victorian CMA regions

As an extension to the Catchment Carbon Offsets trial, in 2019, the then Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA), in partnership with water corporations, engaged a consultant to provide:

  • a carbon sequestration analysis including potential carbon yields and carbon accumulation profile;
  • costs for implementation and overall costs per tonne of carbon; and
  • a 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.

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

Melbourne Water Growing Carbon Pilot

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

The learnings and processes from 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.

Carbon and Co-benefits Co-Investment Guide

In 2023 a project was finalised which developed a step-by-step process for Victorian water sector organisations, and team members in key functions, to design and plan carbon projects that are also capable of attracting co-investment, first and foremost, on the basis of their co-benefit (CoB) value.

The final reports from this project can be found here:

Carbon and Co-benefits Co-Investment Guide

Winton Wetlands Co-benefit Due Diligence Report Piloting the Carbon and Co-benefits Co-Investment Guide.

This project was funded by the Victorian Government through the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA).

This page was updated on 2 Oct 2023.