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This project assessed scientifically how the restoration of the Dry Creek salt fields can be a pathway towards assisting carbon neutrality for the South Australian Government. The main outcome of this interdisciplinary research project was a feasibility assessment of Blue Carbon and co-benefits derived from salt field restoration, with a market ready pathway to carbon accounting and registration that is relevant for achieving South Australia’s climate ready policy.
The investigations have generated knowledge and data on bio-sequestration and carbon abatement through revegetation of salt fields. As salt production has recently ceased at Dry Creek, the activity is new and emissions abatement through carbon sequestration and/or emission avoidance is additional, as revegetation would not be possible had the ponds remained as a salt field. The project outcomes are thus meeting the key Offset Integrity Standards and can be utilised as offset for South Australia’s carbon neutral policies with medium to long-term prospects. The project informs the development of practical guidelines for using the verified carbon standard VM0033, the Human Induced Regeneration accounting method for the Emissions Reduction Fund and, once available, the Australian Emission Reduction Fund methodology for Blue Carbon.
This project has delivered a science based proof of concept of the carbon sequestration potential and wider economic and ecosystem service benefits from large scale restoration of the Dry Creek salt field. This will inform decision making on restoration options, and grow the research expertise in South Australia to further advance science on climate action and healthy ecosystem.
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