Associate Professor (Honorary) Cris Brack, a forestry expert from the Australian National University (ANU), has completed his first review report of gateway checks for human-induced regeneration (HIR) projects under the Australian Carbon Credit Unit Scheme (ACCU Scheme).

HIR projects must undergo regular gateway checks to demonstrate that only land that is progressing towards forest cover is being issued Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).

Assoc. Prof. Brack found HIR projects are demonstrating regeneration and proponents are implementing the project activities. In addition, the independent audit reports and the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) reviews of HIR projects provide strong assurance that projects meet the requirements of the method, with proponents using appropriate systems and tools to ensure carbon estimation areas (CEAs) only contain eligible land and any land that is not progressing towards forest cover is removed.

The report notes that the CER uses a range of different data sources to assess information and evidence provided by project proponents, and where there are discrepancies, the CER seeks further information and evidence, such as plot data and geo-referenced photographs, and may require areas to be removed from CEAs before issuing ACCUs.

David Parker, Chair/CEO of the CER, said he welcomes Assoc. Prof. Brack’s findings and said they provide further confidence in the ACCU scheme and the integrity of the HIR project portfolio.

The first review analysed 25 projects, which were a subset of projects that had submitted their gateway checks prior to the introduction of the new gateway audit process. Projects were objectively chosen to be representative of the HIR project portfolio – representing projects under management by different individuals, agents, or carbon service providers, and a range of ages and locations.

To undertake his review, Assoc. Prof. Brack examined the information and evidence provided by project proponents in their offsets reports, along with geospatial data, the CER’s assessment and findings and reasonable assurance audit reports provided by independent auditors.

Assoc. Prof. Brack will continue to review and report on HIR projects that subsequently have gateway checks. A review report will be published approximately every 6 months. The next report is due in June 2024. The outcomes of these regular reviews will enhance scheme transparency and inform the CER’s ongoing compliance response for individual projects and general process improvements for scheme administration.

The full review report can be found by visiting ​Gateway Regeneration Checks for Human Induced Regeneration projects.


Assoc. Prof. Brack is an expert with over 30 years of experience in teaching and research into forest measurement and management and has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications.

In late 2022, the Independent Review of ACCUs found the HIR method is sound, meets the offsets integrity standards and recommended some improvements to its administration. On 3 May 2023, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy made a direction to the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) concerning the administration of human-induced regeneration (HIR) projects. It includes a direction on the implementation of audits under section 215 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 for HIR projects. As a result, the CER has expanded its audit program for HIR projects and engaged Assoc. Prof. Brack to undertake regular 6 monthly reviews of the performance of HIR projects’ gateway checks.