March 26, 2024

EMA Quarterly Market Snapshot – March 24

Highlights this quarter:

Welcome to our March quarter update

It’s been an active and productive quarter for the EMA team with an upswing of momentum and interest in the water quality market and the Reef Credit Scheme. During this quarter, we welcomed a new team member, forged new partnerships and alliances, launched our new education series, celebrated some of the women making waves in water quality, and conducted a comprehensive review of the Reef Credit Scheme. But that’s not all – one of us had a baby! Congratulations Louise Venz on the safe arrival of baby Jack.


New Secretariat steps in to steer the Scheme

Last month we farewelled our Reef Credit Scheme Secretariat Louise, who has overseen the Reef Credit Scheme for the last three years. Louise has taken maternity leave to work on a new little challenge – welcome baby Jack.

Joining the team and filling the Secretariat shoes is Hannah Tilakumara. Hannah brings a great deal of experience in operations and administration within the natural environment and sustainability sector, including projects focused on land use and water quality improvement. We’re excited to welcome Hannah to the role, overseeing the administration and operations of the Reef Credit Scheme and the continued development of new environmental market opportunities.

If you have any questions about the Reef Credit Scheme or other environmental market opportunities, please email or call Hannah on 0439 799 772.


Beyond the Horizon – Advancing the Reef Credit Scheme  

The Reef Credit Scheme, Australia’s first water quality market delivering healthier water to the Great Barrier Reef has been in operation for six years. It is time for a comprehensive review. Next month EMA is launching a public consultation on the proposed revisions and additions we would like to introduce to the Reef Credit Scheme.

The proposed amendments are based on a combination of experience and learnings from operating the Reef Credit Scheme, plus stakeholder input since the last review. The aim of this review is to enhance the Scheme’s accessibility, addresses some barriers to participation, and foster greater interaction between supply and demand.

EMA conducts periodic reviews of the Scheme to ensure its effective operation  and continued growth in market confidence in the Scheme’s integrity and delivery of environmental and financial outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef, participants and investors.

So far, Reef Credit participants have prevented more than 44 tonnes of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) from entering the Great Barrier Reef and generated more than 2.7 million in returns since its launch in 2017.

The 30-day public consultation will kick off on 8 April and run until 7 May 2024. During the consultation period, EMA will also invite key stakeholders to provide feedback.

Gathering feedback is an integral part of EMA’s process to ensure the Reef Credit Scheme facilitates participation, is even more accessible and continues flourish and succeed.

For your opportunity to comment and support a market delivering healthier water to the Great Barrier Reef, keep an eye out for details on 8 April.


Reef Credit’s DIN Method moves to new credit calculator

EMA Reef Credit Secretariat recently issued a guidance note confirming use of the Natural Capital Credit (NCC) tool in replacement of the Paddock to Reef Projector (P2R Projector) to capture project data and calculate Reef Credits for land management projects under the DIN Methodv1.1*.

The NCC tool is still underpinned by the P2R Projector, however it allows project proponents to lock in the version of the tool at the point a project is registered and validated, meaning projected Reef Credits are not impacted by computational updates to the P2R Projector.

The NCC tool was developed by Brisbane-based technology company Truii in consultation with Eco-Markets Australia to ensure it met the necessary requirements for the DIN Method v1.1. The Reef Credit Scheme’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was also consulted and supports the transition of this methodology to the NCC tool.

To formalise these changes to the DIN Method v1.1, a 30-day public consultation will commence in mid-2024. In the interim, the Reef Credit Secretariat has issued a guidance note and advises Reef Credit Scheme participants using the DIN Method v1.1 to use the NCC tool.

More information about:


*Method for Accounting for Reduction in Nutrient Run-off through Managed Fertiliser Application – Version 1.1


Essentials Series launch a success

Thank you to everyone who joined in the launch of EMA’s Essentials Series. Being committed to making a big impact in an emerging nature-positive market, it’s heartening we had such an incredible turnout and positive feedback.

If you missed joining our first webinar, Unpacking the Reef Credit Scheme, visit our website and catch up on what work leading experts and innovative landholders are doing to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

Next month, keep an eye out for our next informative instalment Advancing the Reef Credit Scheme, which will cover the changes we propose making to the scheme and why. These changes will be out for public consultation at the time, so it is a great chance to get a better understanding before the consultation period ends.

The Essential Series presents regular Know & Go webinars covering the ‘essential’ information you need to know about Australia’s first water quality market. The free sessions are aimed at building a collaborative and informed community interested in achieving a healthier and more resilient Great Barrier Reef.



Women making waves in Australia’s first water quality market

In recognition of International Women’s Day 2024 earlier this month we celebrated and acknowledged some of the brilliant women involved with the Reef Credit Scheme making an indelible difference to the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

Hailing from a range of sectors – science, project management, land stewardship and governance – it was a pleasure to speak to four inspiring women, all of whom share a passion for their work, a commitment to staying true to themselves, and a determination to forge their own path.

Read about the successes and challenges of the women making waves in Australian water quality:


  • Reef Queen, Jane Waterhouse, a leading scientific expert on water quality issues affecting the Great Barrier Reef
  • Project manager, Ellen Coxlives in paradise and loves working with innovative landholders at the forefront of regenerative agriculture
  • Fourth generation farmer, Gemma Di Bella, this 16year is getting ready to take the family tradition into its second century of farming innovation
  • A proud advocate for farmers and regional Queensland, Jo Sheppard is inspired by farmers pushing the envelope.


All wonderful ambassadors for the progress being made in water quality for the Great Barrier Reef.


Photo L to R: Jane Waterhouse, Ellen Cox, Gemma DiBella, Jo Sheppard


Partners in the global movement to align finance with nature

Influencing the global shift in how we value nature and developing compelling solutions to mobilise private capital to fund nature repair is a movement happening across the world. 

EMA is proud to be a member of several key groups working globally and nationally to create meaningful change. We collaborate to share learnings and develop solutions, standards and frameworks to drive and direct corporate action and funding into the conservation and restoration of our natural capital. Amongst our partnerships, we’re pleased to announce our recent memberships to the:

  • Biodiversity Credit Alliance (BCA), a United Nations environment program bringing together leading scientists, academics, conservation practitioners and standard setters to guide the development of credible and scalable biodiversity market that stands up to the scrutiny of multiple stakeholders
  • Nature Positive Economy CRC, a national research cooperative supporting Australia’s transition to an economy that incorporates climate and nature solutions that enable positive economic, environmental and social outcomes. This CRC is bringing together leading organisations to develop the necessary trusted tools, frameworks and systems to ensure meaningful, fair and lasting change.


As Australia’s pioneer environmental markets administrator, we welcome these collaborations and the opportunity to share our learnings and contribute to the development of market infrastructure needed for Australian business to confidently engage in activities that support natural systems and processes at the scale needed to make real, fair, and sustainable change for our environment, economy and society.


Reef Credits set a leading example

The Reef Credit Scheme is a pioneering example of what can be achieved using environmental markets as an effective mechanism to finance nature restoration and conservation. One of the key drivers of its success is the focus on the design and maintenance of the Scheme’s integrity and governance.

EMA is committed to maintaining global benchmarks and best practice in scheme integrity, which is essential for market confidence and growth. Find out why integrity is so important at EMA and what we recently did to evaluate our performance. Read more here.


Don’t be shy – come and meet the EMA team

Keep an eye out for our fetching azure blue EMA work shirts during the coming months as the team heads out and about and would love to connect with peers, partners and collaborators. If you’re attending any of the following events, please reach out and connect with Liza Davis, Landholder & Market Liaison or Hannah Tilakumara, Reef Credit Secretariat who will be at:

  • Women in Sugar on 28-28 April, Ingham (Liza)
  • Mulloon Rehydration Conference, 1-2 May, Queenbeyan (Hannah)
  • Carbon Farming Industry Forum, 20-22 May, Cairns (Liza)  


Alternatively, please contact the team directly at any time:

  • Liza Davis, Landholder & Market Liaison (Townsville) by email or on 0419 858 142
  • Hannah Tilakumara, Reef Credit Secretariat (Brisbane) by email or on 0439 799 772.


The EMA team is always looking for discuss and discover further opportunities to improve, grow and facilitate access to the Reef Credit Scheme, as well as opportunities around emerging nature-based markets.


L to R: Hannah Tilakumara and Liza Davis


Reef Credit quarterly price guide

The March quarter saw market conditions remain consistent. During the last two quarters the price movement has been stable and sitting at the same level as the September 2023 quarter where Reef Credits issued under the Fertiliser Management method were sold for $100 per credit.

As the independent market administrator, EMA’s role is to oversee the administration of the Reef Credit Scheme and manage the registry account. The registry tracks approved projects, verified outcomes (i.e. the water quality improvement linked to an approved methodology), and tracks issuance, transfer and retirement of Reef Credits. As administrator, EMA is not a party to the commercial transaction between a buyer and seller of the Reef Credits. However, we understand the importance of providing a market price guide, which we will continue to update and publish in our quarterly newsletters.

If you’re interested in participating as a methodology developer or project proponent, please contact us by email or on 0437 264 608.


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