Method for Accounting Reduction in Nutrient Run-off through Managed Fertiliser Application – Version 1.1*
*Note: Section 5.5 of the method refers to contribution to export which reflects the proportion of DIN that is transported to the GBR based on project location. Contribution to export is a dataset generated by the Queensland Government. Please contact the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (Qld) at ReefCoordination@dnrme.qld.gov.au for access to the contribution to export dataset.
This methodology was submitted by the methodology developer to the Reef Credit Secretariat in June 2019. The methodology was subject to public consultation and peer review and as a result several revisions were made to the proposed methodology.
The Reef Credit Technical Advisory Committee (the TAC) considered the integrity of the process followed and, on 14 February 2020, confirmed that the methodology approval process had been properly followed and that the methodology had been assessed in accordance with the Reef Credit Standard and Guide. The revised methodology was then recommended by the TAC to the Reef Credit Interim Steering Committee for approval.
The Committee’s recommendation was qualified in the particular matter of ‘accounting for uncertainty’ addressed by Section 4.1.7 and related sections of the Standard. The Committee held the view that the Paddock to Reef model used adequately addresses uncertainty without producing a numerical deduction (correction factor). A correction factor of ‘zero’ was therefore considered appropriate in this methodology based on the following:
• The Paddock to Reef model is the most scientifically robust model currently available.
• There is currently no technical mechanism available to calculate a useful numerical deduction (correction factor) for Paddock to Reef modelling outputs.
• The confidence in the outputs of the Paddock to Reef model is rigorously, qualitatively determined as a reflection of the attributes of input data.
• Because of the qualitative way in which the Paddock to Reef Projector currently determines confidence and the inability of the model to produce confidence intervals for the outputs, a correction factor greater than zero is therefore not required in this methodology in relation to use of the Paddock to Reef model.
The methodology was further revised in accordance with the TAC’s recommendation, and the Reef Credit Interim Steering Committee approved this methodology on 11 March 2020.
Description of Method
The methodology quantifies the reduction in Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) lost from agricultural land through improved soil and nutrient management practices within the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The scope of this methodology includes reducing DIN loss through more efficient soil and nutrient management practices from agricultural enterprises including (but not limited to) sugarcane, bananas, grains and fodder. The methodology allows for a range of practice changes that lead to a reduction in DIN loss across the project area.
The methodology was developed by GreenCollar Group Limited.
The methodology developer submitted to the Reef Credit Secretariat (Secretariat) the methodology documentation and nominated three peer reviewers. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) selected two peer reviewers from those proposed. The two peer reviewers selected are experts of high standing in their respective fields. One is a local soil scientist with expertise in tropical landscape processes linking land management, movement of nutrients, and offsite water quality. The other is an international carbon specialist with extensive experience evaluating the climate benefit of land use activities, carbon sequestration and carbon emission avoidance both on national and project-scales for forestry and agriculture projects. The peer reviewers conducted their assessment of the proposed methodology over a period of 30 days (from June/July-August 2019).
The peer review process ran in parallel with a public consultation process. The Secretariat posted the draft methodology on the www.reefcredit.org website for public consultation for a period of 30 days (from 4 June-4 July 2019), and the Secretariat also sent out a notice via email to key stakeholders on its mailing list informing them of the opportunity to comment. The Secretariat received a total of 123 comments on the draft method, from eight organisations and agencies including government, the agricultural industry, environmental non-government organisations, and research institutions.
The methodology developer responded to the peer reviewer findings and public consultation comments by incorporating revisions and/or justifications for the proposed approach. The peer reviewers then considered the methodology developer’s responses to the peer reviewer comments and provided advice on the extent to which the methodology developer’s revisions adequately responded to the matters raised.
The revised methodology was provided to the TAC to confirm the integrity of the process followed. The TAC confirmed that the methodology approval process had been properly followed and that the methodology had been assessed in accordance with the Reef Credit Standard and Guide. The revised methodology was then recommended by the TAC to the Reef Credit Interim Steering Committee for approval.
The Reef Credit Interim Steering Committee approved the methodology on 11 March 2020.