For over two centuries, Australian landholders have invested in and managed properties for production and sale of agricultural commodities within various market arrangements that have ultimately focussed on production with less consideration of the value of natural capital used.
Landholders recognise the need to protect the natural capital that underpins their production systems; however, there is little recompense for the services the natural systems on their properties deliver to society. Furthermore, there is little acknowledgement of landholders who actively make improvement to their land to increase the value of their natural capital.
The ‘command and control’ regulatory approach under the EPBC Act has proven inefficient and inadequate in protecting matters of national environmental significance. The NFF is seeking a paradigm shift towards market-based instruments as a more efficient method of protecting the environment.
As farmers manage 51 per cent of Australia’s land mass, they are in the best position to manage the land sustainably and protect the environment, and should be encouraged to do so. Farmers need to be paid fair and equitable returns for the products and services their properties provide.
The NFF has a goal of $100 billion farm gate value by 2030 of which the net benefit for ecosystems services is equal to 5% of farm revenue. That would total $5 billion by 2030.
To view the NFF’s policy position on natural capital: click here