reef credit scheme

What is the Reef Credit Scheme?

The Reef Credit Scheme is an innovative, market-based solution offering a new way to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef Credit Scheme was conceived in response to the consensus that a market-mechanism to incentivise water quality improvements across catchments of the Great Barrier Reef was urgently needed.

The Reef Credit Scheme enables land managers to undertake projects that improve water quality through changes in land management to generate a tradeable unit of pollutant reduction or ‘Reef Credit’. A Reef Credit represents a quantifiable volume of nutrient, pesticide or sediment prevented from entering the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

The relative value of pollutant reduction from nutrient, sediment or pesticide is set using the reef wide pollution reduction targets described in the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan (2018). These values will be periodically amended by the Reef Credit Secretariat to reflect changes to the pollution reduction targets. A Reef Credit can then be sold to those seeking to invest in water quality improvements, such as government, private industry and philanthropists.

Benefits of the Reef Credit Scheme

Australian agriculture accounts for 446 million hectares. That’s 58% of our country's land use. Environmental benefits are delivered from this land through changing farming practices, planting trees and removing weeds and pests. Benefits might be things like cleaner water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef, increased biodiversity, or removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. At Eco-Markets Australia we believe it’s important to recognise, value and pay farmers for delivering environmental benefits.

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Robust rules

Clear and robust rules to ensure water quality improvements credited are real, additional and permanent.

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Diversified income

Farmers and land managers earn diversified and regular income over 10- 25 year time frames.

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Attracts investment

Attracts investment from government, corporate and philanthropic sources.

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Verified outcomes

Investors buy verified water quality outcomes when they are delivered and audited.

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Independent governance

A single administrative platform with independent, transparent and accountable governance oversight.

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Consistent monitoring

Delivers consistent measurement and monitoring tools to track progress toward water quality targets across the entire Reef.

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Peer-reviewed methods

Research and knowledge linked to on-ground practice through peer reviewed methods designed to suit local conditions.

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Funds projects

Funds Projects designed to suit local conditions, agribusiness requirements and land manager’s plans.

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Complements key services

Complements other key services such as extension, agribusiness, catchment management and other ecosystem services.


Reef Credits News
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Dec 15, 2021Eco-Markets Australia hands down first Annual Report

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Farmers turn reef action into income
Oct 16, 2021Farmers turn reef action into income

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