Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package

Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot applications now open

Applications for the Enhancing Remnant Vegetation (ERV) Pilot are now open in our six trial regions. This is the second pilot under the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package and is trialling mechanisms to pay farmers for improving existing native vegetation on farms under the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package. Follow the links below for more information.

Find out more about the Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot.

About Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package

Australian agriculture depends on a biodiverse and well-managed natural resource base. Agricultural land managers play a key role in environmental management. They are responsible for managing 58% of our landmass.

The 2021–22 Budget delivers $32.1 million in additional funding to continue to promote biodiversity stewardship. This investment builds on the Australian Government’s ongoing Agriculture Stewardship Package worth $34 million.

The Agriculture Stewardship Package is working to develop market arrangements and kick start private investment in farm biodiversity and other sustainability opportunities.

Key partners are the Australian National University (ANU)National Farmers’ Federation and Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisations in our six pilot regions. 

We are working with the ANU to deliver biodiversity pilots as part of the package. Using a $3.4 million grant, the ANU is designing and developing key design processes, including:

  • rules for participating
  • processes for measuring, reporting and verifying environmental outcomes in farm biodiversity projects.

Pilot regions

The Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship pilots are being run in six Natural Resource Management regions. Eligible regions are:

  • Burnett-Mary in QLD
  • Central West in NSW
  • North Central in Vic
  • NRM North in Tasmania
  • Eyre Peninsula in SA
  • South West in WA.

Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot  

The Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot is using a market-based mechanism to reward farmers for increasing biodiversity. Farmers who undertake plantings for carbon can receive additional payments for maximising the biodiversity benefits from these plantings by:   

  • planting a mix of species 
  • managing and looking after that vegetation.  

Plantings can also benefit farmers by providing shelter for animals, protecting dams and waterways and reducing erosion. 

Payment for biodiversity and other environmental services can supplement traditional farm income. 

Find out more about our Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot.

Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot  

The Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot will be a scientifically robust on-ground trial that aims to improve existing native vegetation on farms. It will test biodiversity protocols developed by the Australian National University.

Successful farmers would receive payments to manage and enhance significant remnant native vegetation on-farm. Examples include: 

  • installing fencing 
  • carrying out weeding 
  • pest control and replanting. 

Applications for the Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot opened on the 29 September 2021 and close 5.00pm (AEST) 27 October 2021.

Find out more about our Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot.

The Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme  

The voluntary Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme will allow Australian farmers to showcase best practice natural resource management to sustain and build biodiversity. Certification will enable consumers to identify Australian produce from farms that sustain our biodiversity and promote community recognition of farmers’ agricultural stewardship.  

Biodiversity certification could help improve the profitability of farm businesses by supporting access to markets, creating price premiums for their produce, lowering capital costs and giving farmers access to information about ways of improving land management practices.

To be certified, farmers will need to undertake specified land management practices and report on-farm biodiversity outcomes. Trials will begin as part of the Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot.  

The Biodiversity Trading Platform

The Biodiversity Trading Platform will enable farmers to connect with buyers of biodiversity outcomes and kick-start private sector biodiversity markets. The platform will integrate spatial information alongside buyer and seller information. This will allow verification, monitoring and reporting of biodiversity services, building transparency and credibility in the market.

A sustainability framework for Australian agriculture 

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) was provided $4 million towards development of an Australian Farm Certification Scheme. They commissioned a report by the Australian Farm Institute (AFI): Recognising On-farm Biodiversity Management.

  • This included research into verification schemes, sustainability and best management practices, domestically and internationally, to determine their applicability in Australian agricultural systems.

The report found that best results are likely to come from a framework that connects and verifies current and emerging programs, providing farmers with choice ( referred to as a ‘meta-standard’). 

Based on this work, the NFF is:

  • delivering a meta-standard for agriculture sustainability, including considering any legal, privacy or other (e.g. tax) implications in delivering the meta-standard or for industry / farmers to adopt the meta-standard 
  • working with agriculture-related organisations, such as rural research and development corporations, industry and private / not-for-profit companies, to verify current standards and connect them within a meta-standard 
  • identifying data needed to underpin the meta-standard, and addressing any gaps 
  • considering market opportunities, and how the meta-standard could be used by domestic consumers, export markets or financial institutions to deliver positive outcomes for farmers (price premiums, increased market access, favourable interest rates) 
  • engage with farmers, the broader industry and other relevant stakeholders on the costs and benefits of participation. 

The AFI report can be viewed at the National Farmers Federation website, a video summary of the report can be found at the Australian Farm Institute YouTube channel

Agriculture Biodiversity Policy Statement 

The policy statement will set out the role of Australian agriculture in protecting biodiversity. The statement will provide:

  • A national vision for on-farm biodiversity, that sets out the benefits for farmers, the broader community and the environment  
  • A shared understanding of best practice land management for biodiversity 
  • An overview of the approach to promoting and rewarding farmers’ environmental stewardship.  

This will be developed later in 2021, building on the learnings from the pilot programs.

Enquiries about the package can be directed to You can also call us on 1800 329 055.


​Document Pages File size
Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship - Package factsheet (May 2021 update) PDF  2 667 KB
Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship - Package factsheet (May 2021 update) DOCX  3 668 KB

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Last reviewed: 29 September 2021
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