Planning for multiple use landscapes on farms
This project aimed to increase farmers’ capacity to recognise and plan for future opportunities in the context of climate change. It developed tools and processes to identify and plan multi use landscapes to deliver integrated climate change adaptation options.
The project worked with 10 farmers on Eyre Peninsula to develop practical plans to take advantage of opportunities and manage risks associated with initiatives around carbon products, biodiversity values and food production.
The project utilised the resources and expertise from a range of organisations to build the capacity of landholders to understand the opportunities that climate change may present, and to develop processes for identifying and planning for multi use landscapes at a property level. The project drew on the expertise of a scientific team from a range of agencies to work with skilled facilitators in farmer groups to develop practical plans to address opportunities and risks associated with carbon products, biodiversity values and food security.
The farmers developed integrated landscape plans for individual properties, including a process for aggregating carbon and biodiversity products and property case studies that can be utilised for informing others on approaches to integrated landscape planning in a changing climate.
10 farm businesses representing 21,800 hectares of land on Eyre Peninsula were engaged in this project and were brought together into a single group over four workshops during the two year period.
Next generation farm plans and property plans were developed by all farm businesses and were based on a risk analysis of these properties, where each farmer identified key areas for improved productivity and improvement in their native vegetation management.
A farm carbon story benchmark was completed with each of the farm business. The benchmarking highlighted the significant carbon stores that the farmers are custodians of with an average of nearly 190,000 t CO2 equiv. On average only 360 t CO2equiv are emitted annually. All but two properties come out on the positive side of tonnes per Co2e, sequestrating more than they omitted. This carbon story tool enabled the landholders to calculate and test future management scenarios.
To further add value to this next generation property planning process, five of the ten properties undertook a more in-depth assessment and analysis of their biodiversity areas and assessed the value of their native plant species, the condition of the native vegetation and biodiversity present, revegetation options within a working farm environment and opportunities for improving stock grazing management of remnant vegetation.
Farmer quotes “We knew some areas were a problem on our farm but we were not really sure what to do.” “We are now planning towards addressing these problem areas. We now have the momentum to move forward.”
This project was supported by Caring for Our Country, Australian Wool Innovation and the SA State Government’s Sustainable Dryland Agriculture Initiative Program. The project commenced July 2011 and is ongoing.