What is the Blue Carbon Ecosystem Restoration Grants?
The Blue Carbon Ecosystem Restoration Grants is a program which aims to to build and support the enabling environment for scaling-up participation
and funding for blue carbon ecosystem restoration.
The Blue Carbon Ecosystem Restoration Grants seeks to address barriers and information needs required for making funding, investment and management decisions (including supporting the development of carbon and biodiversity crediting schemes), and for enabling onground project implementation. Key domestic and international components of the program are:
- implementing various on ground ecosystem restoration or conservation activities and demonstrating how these lead to measured climate, biodiversity and livelihood benefits
- using project level EEA as a trusted approach for measuring and valuing benefits to climate, biodiversity and livelihoods resulting from blue carbon restoration or conservation activities (including applying project level EEA to funded restoration projects)
- paving the way for private sector funding in blue carbon ecosystem restoration projects by providing information, expertise and opportunities for engagement.
The objectives of the grants are:
- restore degraded and/or re-establish previously lost blue carbon ecosystems by implementing on-ground ecosystem restoration activities
- provide information on the benefits to climate, biodiversity and livelihoods resulting from restoration activities within various ecosystem types and socio-economic settings.
The intended outcomes of the grants are:
- improve the health of blue carbon ecosystems, thereby enhancing biodiversity, climate and livelihood benefits.
- improve understanding of the flow of ecosystem services and benefits of blue carbon ecosystem restoration and assist in building knowledge and expertise in restoration activities and EEA.
- generate restoration case studies to demonstrate the importance of coastal wetland conservation and restoration,
- contribute to a wider community of practice for blue carbon wetland ecosystem restoration and project level environmental-economic accounting.
For this grant opportunity, a total of up to $9.5 million (GST exclusive) is available over 4 years from 2021–22 to 2024–25.
It is anticipated that each project grant will be between $1 million and $4 million (GST exclusive), depending on the scope of the grant activity and its complexity. The grant amount can be for 100% of eligible expenditure.
Eligible activities can include:
- on-ground works to create hydrology and land elevation suitable for coastal wetland growth (for example, removal of tidal exclusion structures such as bund walls, tidal gates and levees, renovating tidal channels, infilling drains and land reshaping such that land can support wetland vegetation)
- for seagrass, activities which enhance natural recruitment, including breakwaters to mimic shallow embayments and use of small-scale devices such as sandbags to create microscale eddies that enhance settlement of seeds
- direct revegetation of seeds or seedlings using species known to be native to the site (where hydrology or other conditions to enable successful re-establishment of vegetation have been addressed)
- fencing and other activities to prevent access by people, and non-native or native animals
- flora and fauna surveys, habitat mapping, data recording, hydrological assessments, spatial mapping and modelling
- seed collection, germination trials and propagation of plant species native to the site (either on or offsite) for use in revegetation (applicants are responsible for identifying and obtaining appropriate permits for land access and collecting seed)
- local eradication or reducing the impact and spread of existing pest animals (for example, pigs) and diseases, however, the management of pests or diseases that legally require control is ineligible
- local eradication and control of invasive weed species through physical, chemical or biological treatments (physical treatments may include Indigenous burning practices), however, the management of weed species that legally require control is ineligible
- erosion control
- engagement activities with local communities and/or Indigenous land managers and/or Traditional Owners and communities
- education and awareness raising activities, such as workshops, field days, website development, demonstrations of techniques, community monitoring and other awareness raising activities.
To be eligible you must be one of the following entity types:
- Indigenous Corporation
- Commonwealth Entity
- Commonwealth Company
- Non-corporate State or Territory Statutory Authority
- Corporate State or Territory Entity
- Local Government
- Incorporated Association
- International Entity
- Statutory Entity
In addition to the eligibility criteria above, you must also:
- undertake on-ground restoration of one or more blue carbon ecosystem type (mangroves, seagrasses, tidal marshes and/or supratidal forests) – eligible projects may be an extension of or build on an existing project, however you must clearly demonstrate the project is additional to any existing projects or grant activities
- agree to provide the EEA service provider/s access to the project site to collect data; share monitoring and assessment data that is collected as part of the restoration project; and attend workshops or meetings with the EEA service provider, as needed, to discuss EEA project design and implementation needs
- provide evidence from your board (or chief executive, general manager or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is endorsed, and that you can complete the project and meet any of the costs of the project that are not covered by the grant funding
- demonstrate legal title and/or provide a letter of consent or similar document from the site owner(s)/manager(s) for your project where you are not the site owner/manager (including adjacent site owners/managers who may be impacted), showing that they agree that you may conduct the project on their site
- if the grant activity directly affects Indigenous places, values or communities, and/or Indigenous rights and interests in the project site, provide a letter of consent from the Traditional Owners demonstrating full, prior and informed consent
- identify any areas that may be under legal dispute or where Indigenous claims have been made but not resolved.
Applications close 15 February 2022.