Carbon and co-benefits

Carbon and co-benefits is part of the 10 Deserts Project’s (10DP) strategy to build alternative sustainable income streams for Indigenous land management in the desert.

It is also potentially provides a long-term source of funding for fire management.

A carbon story for the deserts

The 10DP is committed to investigating the potential for generating carbon credits in the project area in a similar way that Indigenous organisations have been successful in northern Australia with savanna burning projects.

South Pole in conjunction with Natural Carbon was commissioned to undertake a feasibility study to address the Australian Government’s prioritisation criteria for method development under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).  Work on the feasibility was completed in early 2020.

Key findings

The key findings of the study were:

Copies of the feasibility study and associated reports can be downloaded from the links below.


In addition, the 10DP is investigating the opportunities for deriving income from co-benefits.

Co-benefits often refer to social, cultural and environmental benefits that are derived from land management activities associated with the generation of carbon credits and for which buyers are prepared to pay a premium or additional price.  For Indigenous communities in Australia this generally relates to the use of cool season burning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Strategically though the 10DP seeks to flip the above so that social, cultural and environmental benefits are seen to be the primary outcome (sometimes referred to as ‘core benefits’) and carbon credits, when generated, are the co-benefits.

These ‘core benefits’ may include payments for ecosystem services (PES) or new products such as healthy country credits which are aligned to national and international commitments such as the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Carbon and co-benefits resources


Media release: A carbon story for the desert – exploring carbon reduction projects across Australia’s deserts

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