Borden, Western Australia
Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.
Borden is a small Western Australian Wheatbelt town on Koreng Noongar country. About 378km southeast of Perth, the nearest regional city is Albany.
Although today the district is predominantly a wheat and sheep area, in the 1840s, the town was a meeting place for sandalwood cutters- during which time sandalwood was Western Australia’s biggest export earner.
Borden, like many other towns in this area, has land affected by salt and erosion caused by clearing native vegetation and stock grazing over many generations.
Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund is working with a local farming family in southeast Borden to plant 10 hectares of land that is in advanced decline due to salinity and rising water tables.
“This year’s project areas tick all the boxes for sustainability...we’re offsetting carbon, conserving biodiversity, and protecting valuable farmland from salinity. It’s win-win-win.”
Is this land a working farm?
Yes. The 10-hectare site is part of a working professional farm with a main focus on grazing. The landowner has shown a commitment to environmental restoration by dedicating the site to rehabilitation in our ‘Saltland Carbon Planting’ project. The hope is that this parcel of land can be revegetated for water use, stock shelter, and mixed grazing in the future.
CNCF is funding the planting under the direction of local experts and innovators in the carbon field, Threshold Environmental. Led by Justin Jonson, Threshold Environmental specializes in large-scale ecological restoration projects for both conservation and carbon sequestration purposes.
Borden is one site where CNCF and Threshold Environmental are working together to develop and test new carbon farming systems. These systems have the potential to be used at a whole farm level to reduce water tables, stabilise and regenerate eroded land, creating shelter and mixed grazing fodder for livestock.
This carbon farming initiative is an example of how agriculture, leading environmental science, and a charitable organisation can work together to create a legacy for future generations.
What is ‘Saltland Carbon Planting’?
On this land, Jonson is leading the challenging task of rehabilitating salty country by hand planting 25,000 seedlings across the site in 2020. The plants are grown from locally collected seed from plants that can tolerate salt. Not much is known about the potential to offset carbon on land that has been degraded by dryland salinity, especially using a mixture of trees and shrubs on land used for grazing.
This experimental planting will test how well-assorted trees can grow in areas of differing salinity and how well they can sequester carbon. Jonson is hopeful that the project will demonstrate how converting low productivity saline land can turn into well-functioning and usable land that supports native biodiversity while sequestering carbon. It is hoped that the land can also support mixed agriculture.
This project is possible due to funding from the State Natural Resource Management Program and the National Landcare Program: Smart Farms Small Grants in association with Threshold Environmental.
The Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund takes great pride in being partnered with projects that have the potential to change how carbon farming on salt ridden land is seen across the world.
How can landowners benefit from this?
When you work with us to rehabilitate your land, you are bringing the land back to health. Every plant in the ground helps to take carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into physical biomass (the plant’s body). Not only are you helping to mitigate the excess of carbon in the atmosphere, but you are also:
- creating additional biodiversity values for the farm/landholding
- lowering the water table
- fighting land salinisation
- stabilising erosion
- restoring your soil health
- providing shelter and mixed grazing fodder for livestock
- adding an extra income stream (in the case of sandalwood)
Landowners participating in a project with CNCF are creating a healthy farm which provides benefits for the environment and supports the local economy.
CNCF are currently seeking expressions of interest for landowners and groups in this area for future projects. So, if you think “maybe we should do this to our land,” please contact us to see how we can help you.
Don't have land? You can still help!
If you would like to help us, your gift is tax-deductible.
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