National Farmers' Federation

Statement on Biodiversity Certificates Scheme

Quotes attributable to NFF President, Fiona Simson

We’re delighted by the announcement by the Prime Minister and Environment Minister here at the Bush Summit, that Australia will establish a Biodiversity Certificates Scheme to reward landholders for restoring and managing environmental assets.

Australian farmers manage more than half of Australia’s landmass. This is an important stewardship role we undertake on behalf of all Australians. Linking farmers with investors who will partner with them to invest in environmental protection is a significant step forward in how we protect and care for our country.

It builds on the success and maturity of the Emissions Reduction Fund model, and takes forward important work of the previous Federal Government in piloting Carbon + Biodiversity Programs and developing a Biodiversity Trading Platform. Like all markets, success will depend on transparency and robustness, and participation by investors.

The NFF has been a longstanding advocate for mechanisms which recognise and support the stewardship work of Australian farmers. Our 2030 Roadmap includes a target for 5% of farm income to be derived from environmental services by 2030, and today’s announcement takes us one step closer to that goal.

The NFF is continuing to develop the Australian Agriculture Sustainability Framework (AASF) to better demonstrate agriculture’s sustainability credentials to our trading partners and the private sector – an effort the Prime Minister has separately committed to support. We are also a founding partner of the Farming for the Future project to test and prove the connection between natural capital and farm profitability.

Together, these measures aim to create more resilient farms and a more sustainable farm sector. We look forward to working closely with the Australian Government as it progresses legislation to enable this new market and ensure the fungibility of these certificates.