A picture of Dr Margaret Roper and Dr Jon Sanderman undertaking soil sampling in Western Australia.
The Soil Carbon Research Program: assessing soil carbon across Australia
The Soil Carbon Research Program will provide data from which realistic sequestration options and targets for Australia can be formed.
13 November 2009 | Updated 14 October 2011
As a result of Australia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and its intent to introduce a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a critical need exists to develop a sound and scientifically defensible definition of the potential for Australia’s soils to sequester carbon.
The Soil Carbon Research Program (SCRP) will bring together soil carbon researchers from CSIRO, State Government Agencies and Universities to deliver a national coordinated program of research projects to address this issue.
The objectives of the SCRP project are:
provision of a nationally consistent assessment of soil carbon condition across the major land-use/soil type combinations used for agricultural production across Australia
identification of land-uses and management strategies with the potential to build soil carbon at regional level
quantification of the inputs of carbon to soils under agricultural systems based on perennial vegetation
development of rapid and cost-effective means for quantifying soil carbon stocks and measuring soil bulk density
provision of data for further development of FullCAM, Australia’s national carbon accounting tool.
The national SCRP project has been provided with over A$20 million in funding.
CSIRO scientist, Dr Jeffery Baldock, is responsible for scientific leadership and coordination of all soil carbon activities associated with the SCRP project.
Partners other than CSIRO involved in the project include:
University of Western Australia
Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia
Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland, Australia
University of New England, New South Wales, Australia
Murray Catchment Management Authority, Australia
University of Tasmania, Australia
Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity, South Australia.
Tasmania: Richard Doyle, Project Leader, University of Tasmania and Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research. Phone: 61 3 6226 2622.
Victoria: Fiona Robertson, Project Leader, Department of Primary Industries. Phone: 61 3 5573 0761.
New South Wales: Annette Cowie, Project Leader, Department of Primary Industries and University of New England. Phone: 61 2 9872 0138.
New South Wales: Vanessa Lonergan, Project Manager, University of New England, phone 0457 536 108
New South Wales: Dale Stringer, Project Leader, Murray Catchment Management Authority. Phone: 61 2 6051 2213.
Western Australia: Daniel Murphy, Project Leader, University of Western Australia and Department of Agriculture and Food. Phone: 61 8 6488 7083.
South Australia: Lynne Macdonald, Project Leader, CSIRO and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Phone: 61 8 8273 8111.
Queensland: Ram Dalal, Project Leader, Department of Environment and Resource Management and University of Queensland. Phone: 61 7 3896 9895.
Information gained from this program will be used by a wide range of stakeholders.
At a regional level, state agencies and primary producers will be able to implement land-uses and management strategies that may increase soils carbon at the farm level.
At a national level, the Climate Change Research Program of the Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries will use the data generated to underpin the development of realistic sequestration options and targets with sound scientific advice.
The information will also assist the Department of Climate Change when designing emissions trading policy and identifying practical greenhouse gas mitigation programs.
The project commenced on 30 April 2009 and will conclude on 30 June 2012.
The national SCRP project has been provided with over A$20 million in funding, including in-kind contributions.
Funds for this project have been provided by:
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries
Grain Research Development Corporation
in-kind contribution from project partners.
Read more about Soil carbon: the basics.
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