Getting an ERF project up is not a trivial exercise: you will need to set aside a significant amount of time and resources just to properly investigate the opportunity. There are a number of expert consultants who can help you with this. Be aware that they all have different approaches to recovering their profits from you. Depending on your goals, these arrangements might be very suitable or very detrimental. Take your time and make sure that the consultant is the best fit for your organisation and tolerance for risk.
Develop a fire plan: know your country
Even if your ERF project does not get up, you should have a proper fire plan. And you should not start an ERF project unless you have a properly detailed fire plan. It's the place to start! See our online resources for how to set up (or get assistance with) creating a Fire Plan.
- Use the Fire Guidelines layer to see what fire regimes are present in each of your main management zones (eg paddocks, catchments, frontages, etc)
- Compare this to your requirements for production and conservation.
- Create an optimal fire frequency and seasonality overlay
- This shows you what country can be burned at what frequency
Identify Project Areas
- With your fire management plan layer in place, have a look at the Fuel Class layer. This will show you where on your property are the vegetation classes eligible for emissions reduction funding.
- Compare your fire plan zones with the Fuel Base map and see if there are large stretches of country where you can manage fire with a specific goal of reducing emissions. Note that this goal may be at odds with other goals such as stock management, biodiversity protection, and cultural/tourism expectations.
- If you can identify suitable Project Areas, you will need to create a geographical outline to define the area. Use desktop GIS software (eg QGIS, MapInfo, or Arc). Save the resulting "shapefile" (one or more) as your project area/s.
Find an estimated abatement value
- Check your project area using the online calculator at SavBAT: https://savbat.environment.gov.au
- The calculator will ask for you to upload your Project Area. You can only upload and analyse one Project Area at a time.
- Leave the default timeline.
- Unless you have better information, use these values for Global Warming Potential: CH4 = 21; N20 =310
- Check the table carefully. You will see the results presented according to how much of the landscape is burned in Early dry season and how much is burned in Late. The actual burn is measured and calculated each year through satellite observation. The government will calculate your ERF credits (or debits) based on what is observed in your Project Area. You can earn credits or you could end up owing credits that you'll need to buy from elsewhere.