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ecologicalcredits: About

 About Ecological Credits

Ecological credits are a carbon offset product which extends the range of environmental services offered by a carbon credit.  Well designed revegetation combines carbon sequestration, water quality protection, biodiversity enhancement, and land systems protection into a single credit. 

Mitigation of Climate Change

Forests can capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere 

Carbon Dioxide buildup in the earth’s atmosphere is believed to be the cause of global warming, and as a result potentially serious changes in climate.  Atmospheric pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, combined with clearing of native forests has seen atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise from 270 to 382 ppm. 

Forests have the potential to absorb large amounts of Carbon dioxide, and store this as cellulose and lignin in wood.   Carbon sequestration in forests is an important tool in reducing atmospheric levels of C02, and should be implemented alongside emissions reduction and renewable energy generation activities.

 

Adaptation to climate change

Native vegetation will allow ecosystems to better adapt to climate change

While mitigation refers to reduction in the level of climate change (through reducing the level of carbon in the atmosphere), adaptation refers increasing to the ability of systems to manage the impacts of climate change.   Mitigation reduces the level of climate change whereas adaptation reduces its effect.   Building adaptive capacity within ecosystems is critical and tree based sinks are the only climate change response which combines both mitigation and adaptation.  

Water Quality Protection 

Forests filter our water 

Vegetation can protect water quality in several ways, especially when it buffers waterways.  It filters nutrients from overland flows, inhibits erosion, and reduces sedimentation.   These actions protect water quality, increase aquatic biodiversity, as well as reducing the incidence of algal blooms. 

 

Biodiversity

Forests are an important source of biodiversity 

Biodiversity refers to the abundance of natural species within an ecosystem, as well as the variation within species. Revegetation utilizing locally indigenous species enhances regional biodiversity while helping ensure the long term survival of natural species.

Extending and connecting remnants of fragmented vegetation through revegetation helps to protect biodiversity. Increased connectivity allows fauna migration, and assists native ecosystems in their adaptation to climate change. 

 

Land Systems Protection

Land protection ensures revegetation habitats 

Many Australian land systems are particularly susceptible to degradation from dryland salinity. Targeted native vegetation restoration in recharge areas can help to lower water tables and reduce the incidence and impact of salinity.