CARBON AND ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION
The potential scale of investment proposed through the Australian Government's Land Sector Package is large (~$1.7billion) and poses both great opportunity and risk for Australian ecosystems. The major initiative of the package is the Biodiversity Fund ($946 million) that aims to support landholders to undertake projects that establish, restore, protect or manage biodiverse carbon stores.
The opportunity is great, because the carbon cycle is the first ecosystem service with a market based mechanism to fund the restoration of cleared lands. The risk is great, because ecosystems are not just trees, and the business model associated with selling carbon credit tends toward simple, monoculture systems in an effort to maximize profit. However, carbon plantings represent a permanent land use change. What you see is what you get.
The Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) presents itself as an impartial body able to provide unbiased advice to ensure that such land use change contributes to the conservation, protection, and restoration of Australia's native landscapes.