April 20, 2020

First Reef Credit Methodology Released

We are excited to announce the release of the first Reef Credit Methodology for use under the Reef Credit Scheme.

Following a rigorous public consultation and peer review process, the Methodology for Accounting Reduction in Nutrient Run-off through Managed Fertiliser Application – Version 1.1 has been approved for use under the Reef Credit Scheme. This methodology quantifies the reduction in Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) lost from agricultural land through improved soil and nutrient management practices within the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The scope of this methodology includes reducing DIN loss through more efficient soil and nutrient management practices from agricultural enterprises including (but not limited to) sugarcane, bananas, grains and fodder. The methodology allows for a range of practice changes, that lead to a reduction in DIN loss across the project area. The methodology was developed by GreenCollar Group Limited.

The methodology was submitted by the methodology developer to the Reef Credit Secretariat in June 2019. The methodology was subject to public consultation and peer review and as a result several revisions were made to the proposed methodology. The Reef Credit Technical Advisory Committee (the TAC) considered the integrity of the process followed and, on 14 February 2020, confirmed that the methodology approval process had been properly followed and that the methodology had been assessed in accordance with the Reef Credit Standard and Guide. The revised methodology was then recommended by the TAC to the Reef Credit Interim Steering Committee for approval. The Reef Credit Interim Steering Committee approved the methodology on 11 March 2020.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed a written submission on the methodology and to thank you for your patience. Full details of the results of the public consultation and peer review process can be found on the website: https://www.reefcredit.org/approved-methodologies/

We are in the process of finalising the Reef Credit Project Crediting Procedures (including template forms) and the Registry system, and once finalised the first Reef Credit Projects may be submitted for approval and the first Reef Credits issued. We anticipate releasing the procedures and establishing the Registry system in the coming weeks and will notify stakeholders when this occurs and will also post the procedures and forms on the website together with a public view version of the Registry.

Extension of Beta Phase and Review of the Reef Credit Standard

All components of the Reef Credit Scheme, including the Reef Credit Standard and Guide, will be reviewed at the conclusion of the beta phase. The beta phase was due to end in December 2019. However, it has been extended to allow for the administrative processes developed, including the all-important methodology review processes, to be tested before entering into a fully operational phase.

The beta phase review will be carried out by the independent skills-based Board of the not-for-profit company soon to be established to govern the Reef Credit Scheme. The review will be carried out within six months of the establishment of the independent Board. A minor amendment has been made to the Reef Credit Standard Version 1.0 (s 1.3) to reflect this extension of the beta phase review period and the amended Reef Credit Standard has been reissued as the Reef Credit Standard Version 1.1.

We would like to thank all our stakeholders for your support and collaboration throughout the development of this exciting new initiative and look forward to your continuing input.