Question: How do you unlock the potential of the Largest Carbon Sink over which we have control? Answer: Make it easy for farmers to engage!

March 10, 2014 Louisa Kiely

As we race towards the conference I thought to show you the ‘architecture’ of a methodology.

Now is the time to ‘get your head around’  how this is structured –  You can’t make decisions around introducing the idea to others if you are not well informed!

So, for any  methodologies that the Department (of Environment that is) is working on, (and private groups can also work on developing a methodology)  you may have:

• A technical working group – This is the scientists and other experts in an area – in our case, soil, soil carbon and other technical expertise. The very basis of the methodology, these guys check the integrity of what can be done  Eg: ‘what is the evidence around soil carbon sequestration’

• A reference group  –  A group of ‘practitioners’-  In the case of soil carbon, these are farmers in the main – We sit on the soil carbon reference group.    This group helps the Department to understand if those who are targetted by the methodology  WILL actually use it.  (Others who sit in this group will be at the conference).

 AND  then, there is the DOIC  (The Domestic Offset Integrity Committee) These are like the ‘police’ . They are tough on any new methodology and look at it from every angle. They have to approve the overall ‘meth’  and if happy, will allow it to be realeased  for public viewing – at which time Everyone gets a go at saying why it should or shouldn’t be approved – This means YOU.

In order to have good feedback into this system when the methodology goes on public view you need to understand WHAT is involved in it. Knowledge is key to this process to make sure it works for the majority. 

THIS conference is the ONLY place where the 3 legs meet to give you that knowledge-  Science, Practice and Department.   Where else can you:

•Ask  the Minister  “How do you intend to ‘streamline’ the CFI for farmers – what are you doing about the 100 years rule and making it easy for farmers to take part?

• Ask  Dr Baldock about ScARP  the soil carbon research – its had quite a lot of publicity lately.  What was it designed to do? Results and where to now?

• Ask  the Department about the Soil C meth,  the nitrous oxide meth and methane –  HOw are they making them ‘farmer friendly’? When will it be on public view?.

•Get a handle on what is required to actually DO a project – the legals,  how you sell the credits  AND what else is happening in this space.  Community leaders like you need to understand what is involved so you can make informed decisions. 

• Hear the latest innovations  –  4G Biochar,   novel tests for Soil carbon biology, new measurement methods to drive down costs. 

• Mingle and asks questions, questions, questions  of all of the players. 

We’ve had a great response to our offer for farmers to attend FREE, but there is still time to Register and come along  and answer the question for yourself – Is there anything in this for my stakeholders 

Visit  to see the full program.

 The story is NOT just building- its about to become real – for farmers and for Australian soils.   Our conference is a mixture of conference and the best education around, so don’t forget to:

REGISTER NOW on the site (see side panel)





7th National Carbon Farming Conference and Expo

ALL your questions can be answered

Venue: Rydges Lakeside, Canberra

Dates: March 17th to 20th. 


Other speakers in the Soil Carbon Measurement space at conference.

Dr Raphael Viscarra – Rossel – CSIRO

Dr Raphael Viscarra- Rossel is responsible for developing novel approaches to measure, model and map soil for CSIRO Land and Water, and leads developments in proximal soil sensing, soil spectroscopy and digital soil mapping.  His research contributes to the CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship and supports its goals by developing novel scientific approaches to better understand soil and its condition.  Dr Viscarra Rossel leads a DA FtRG2 project to develop an innovative solution for accurate and affordable estimates of soil carbon;  a GRDC project to look at the effectiveness and profitability of sensors for measuring soil carbon, and co-leads the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) continental scale digital soil mapping project.



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