A spectacular property in Australia's arid Red Centre is the location of an exciting environmental pilot, where an innovative Australian company is grasping the opportunity of the emerging carbon economy to fund nature conservation.
The Henbury Conservation Project is all about 'learning by doing'. For the first time a business is attempting to establish a model for carbon farming - and at the same time meet international benchmarks for long-term biodiversity conservation of a rare and under-protected arid Australian environment.
The property is Henbury Station and the ambitious project is the brainchild of Australia's R.M.Williams Agricultural Holdings.
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This is Henbury Station, a huge property in Australia's arid Red Centre, now home to a pioneering nature conservation project. With Australian Government support, Henbury has been purchased by R.M.Williams Agricultural Holdings, for the National Reserve System. It will now be managed forever as a conservation property.
The 500,000 hectare property extends from the spectacular MacDonnell Ranges across the vast, open red plains of the Finke bioregion. The mighty Palmer and Finke rivers meander through the property, their permanent waterholes providing refuges for animals and plants in this arid environment.
While Henbury was formerly a cattle station, 70 per cent of its landscape remains largely in natural condition, home to a host of threatened plants and animals. It's a vital building block in the Territory Eco-Link conservation corridor, from South Australia to the Arafura Sea, linking adjacent reserves, boosting the resilience of the landscape, giving native species room to adapt to a changing climate.
Henbury is a great win for biodiversity, but just as exciting in its innovative private sector approach to funding ongoing conservation - a potential model for farmers across the landscape.
With cattle removed, R.M.Williams Agricultural Holdings will actively manage fire, water, weeds and feral animals to support the regeneration of native vegetation. Income from the resulting carbon credits will fund Henbury's long-term conservation.
Here, an Australian company is among the first to grasp the economic opportunity of a clean energy future, combining carbon farming and long-term biodiversity conservation.