STT, Forico, PFT, FPA, RMS, NAB are working with CSIRO on this exciting project.
Natural capital is the soil, air, water biodiversity and land resources that underpin food and fibre production and our entire global economy.
The forest industry, including our Tasmanian Forest Industry, plays a vital, front-line role in the stewardship of natural capital. Operational decisions within our industry can have significant positive or negative impacts on greenhouse gas emissions/carbon sequestration, nutrient cycles, water quality, air quality and biodiversity, as well as our timber production. As long as non-timber impacts remain unpriced, they do not directly affect our sector’s financial performance.
Forests are exposed to a wide variety of natural capital risks, including climate change, extreme weather events, changes in the distributions of pests, weeds and diseases, bushfires and more. While forest managers are generally aware of these risks and how to manage them, the level of risk for any given asset is not transparent due to the lack of a common framework to systematically assess and quantify such risks. For forest investors, this translates to increased capital costs. Forests are currently valued based on their standing timber, meaning financial flows into the forest sector are substantially less, and at a higher cost than they might otherwise be.
The research activities
- Assess opportunities for non-timber natural capital financing, barriers to adoption and opportunities to overcome these barriers. The assessment will be presented as an executive briefing paper aimed at financial and forestry stakeholders;
- Develop a forestry-specific natural capital risk assessment methodology which involves characterising natural capital impacts and dependencies leading to financial risks associated with the three major Tasmanian forestry sectors (softwood and hardwood plantations, native forests);
- Assess opportunities to reduce the cost of current and future natural capital data management through optimisation of data collection and reporting across current compliance processes and future natural capital financial risk assessment; and
- Develop a standard for integrating natural capital information into forest estate management tools, to help forest managers streamline management of natural capital risk with other forest planning and operations.
If you would like to get in touch to find out more we have a LinkedIn group – Unlocking Financial Innovation with Natural Capital (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13746978/) or you can contact members of the team using the details below.
• Libby Pinkard – Group Leader of the Living landscapes Program, CSIRO, Hobart (Libby.Pinkard@csiro.au).
• Tony O’Grady – Team Leader of Landscape and Forest Function, CSIRO, Hobart (Anthony.O’Grady@csiro.au).
• Greg Smith – Postdoctoral Fellow, CSIRO, Hobart (Greg.S.Smith@csiro.au).
• Francisco Ascui – Independent consultant and Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Tasmania (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Network will continue to post project updates through our newsletters.