The Territory Government hosted the Eco-link Summit in Darwin 26 July 2010.
The Summit aimed to explore opportunities that the developing carbon market offer to deliver better conservation outcomes and improved land based livelihoods. The Summit also aimed to explore the establishment of a fund or foundation to capture some of the possible funding opportunities linked to carbon.
The Summit attracted wide and varied representation including scientists, pastoralists, policy makers, indigenous organisations, economists and bankers from around Australia.
The Summit was opened by Jim Grant, Chief Executive Officer for the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport.
Following a quick overview of Territory Eco-link was a number of interesting presentations;
- Vicki Linton, Acting Policy Director Nature Conservation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in South Australia outlined a South Australian perspective on landscape conservation, including the Nature Links and Trans-Australia Eco-Link program. Vicki also outlined the River Murray Forest carbon project. (pdf 4.5Mb)
- Jim Binney, a Senior Consultant with Marsden Jacobs Associates, talked about the emerging markets for biodiversity and carbon, and touched on some of the challenges and constraints to be overcome. (pdf 252Kb)
- Peter Whitehead, Senior Policy Officer with the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport outlined developments in carbon and biodiversity offsets policy in the Northern Territory. (pdf 2.4Mb)
- Steve Sutton, Director of Bushfires NT then explained the West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement Project, an example of where voluntary carbon offsets were funding biodiversity and social outcomes. (pdf 8.2Mb)
- The final presentation was delivered by Dr Chris Chilcott of the Department Agriculture and Food in Western Australia, and included an overview of the Biosequestration on Rangeland Reserves work the department is doing in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in South Australia. (pdf 2.4Mb)
These presentations were followed by a workshop session in the afternoon.
The workshop provided two major outcomes;
- the need for a carbon / offset fund (designed to fund biodiversity outcomes within the eco-link corridor), and
- the need for carbon rights legislation.
The preference expressed was for a fund to cover the entire Trans-Australian Eco-Link. There was also a clear preference for the fund to be administered by a “non-government” entity.