Can I earn carbon credits if my land is in a covenant?
Short answer - yes, as long as it doesn’t break the covenant conditions.
Regenerating maunka at Hakatere Conservation Park
Photo credit: Rowan Sprague, CarbonCrop
Forests aren’t free. Even if you do absolutely nothing at all, they still cost money. Registering your covenant-protected land for carbon credits could provide an income stream to help fund restoration and protection expenses like pest and weed control and enrichment planting. But registering naturally regenerating native forest in the ETS can be difficult.
How to get your covenanted native forest registered for carbon credits
1. Your forest must meet the definition of ‘forest’ by MPI
Minimum 1 hectare of land
Trees must have the potential to grow to at least 5 metres in height
The forest must have the potential to reach at least 30% average canopy cover
New trees or regeneration since 1990 - if it was forest before 1989 it is not eligible.
Must be made up of eligible tree species
Read more on the ins and outs of the ETS criteria here.
2. Choose the right partner
Native forests are more difficult to map and measure than pine trees. Compared to battalions of pine soldiers standing in neat rows, regenerating native forests are a beautiful complex mess. The mix of species, ages, and amorphous boundaries, along with often remote locations, mean registering regenerating native forests is often put in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Reduce the up-front financial risk
Attempting to register your regenerating native forest for the ETS can have a lot of up-front financial risk - the typical model is to charge for time spent, with no guarantee of success.
We take a different approach: we don’t get paid until you do.
Your initial assessment is free, and we take our fee only after you’re accepted into the ETS.
New Zealand’s regenerating native forests are a huge potential carbon sink and are being underutilised in the fight against climate change. CarbonCrop specialises in registering even the most tricky native forests for carbon credits by combining artificial intelligence with satellite imagery.
Find out what you’ve got, and what it’s worth. For free. You’ve got more than you think.
If you are interested in putting your land into a covenant, QEII can help you with enduring protection, or you could check with your local authority for covenant options and funding opportunities.