Wednesday, August 03, 2011

How will the Biodiversity Fund benefit farmers?

One billion of the $1.5bn contribution from the Carbon Price to the "Land Sector" is assigned to The Biodiversity Fund "for landholders to undertake projects that establish, restore, protect or mmanage biodiverse carbon stores"- sounds to us like a lot of trees will be planted and not much else. The nation would be short-changed were this the case. And the Government would hand a stick to its enemies to beat it with. Biodiversity means landscape resilience which means the more complex the web of existence, the stronger is its ability to withstand degradation. Two areas where biodiversity translates into food security are: 1. soil microbiology and 2. grass species. The trigger is No.1. As below the ground, so above the ground. Biodiversity above the ground seems to follow biodiversity beneath the ground. The food chain stretches from lower to higher order species. Simply planting trees is a superficial response to monoculture. Even native plantings of the type envisaged by the RM Williams organisation at Henbury Station are a simplistic solution. We would hope to see some of that big budget item branded Biodiversity devoted to encouraging farmers to increase biodiversity where it counts.

No comments: