Projects under the reforestation and afforestation method can earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) by planting trees to establish a permanent forest.

It's important to know:

  • reforestation is the restoration of previously forested land back to forest

  • afforestation is the establishment of new forest in an area that was not forested.

When to use this method

The reforestation and afforestation method may be suitable for your business if you:

  • can plant seeds or seedlings to establish a permanent forest on grazed, cropped or fallow land
  • are prepared to undertake field measurements of your planted trees.



To be eligible, land must have been grazed, cropped or fallow for the past 5 years. It must be able to support the growth of new forest.

A reforestation and afforestation project area must be located within Australia.

It must involve establishing a permanent planting on land that's been:

  • grazed
  • cropped
  • fallow.

This must have happened in the 5 years before your project application.

You must also meet general eligibility requirements of the Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Scheme.

Relevant legislation:

  • Part 3, Sections 5 and 27 of the Act
  • Part 3 of the method


Your project is ineligible if it removes trees from an area, unless required by law.

In a reforestation and afforestation project, a permanent planting is not:

  • harvested
  • a landscape planting.

Exceptions to harvesting are:

  • thinning for ecological purposes
  • removing debris for fire management
  • removing firewood, fruits, nuts, seeds or material for fencing or craft, as long as items aren't removed for sale
  • removing material in accordance with traditional First Nations practices or native title rights.

Relevant legislation:

  • Part 3 section 11 of the method

Method requirements

Once you identify your project area, you need to define the strata and strata boundaries. Ensure they don’t overlap.

Stratification is the process of outlining smaller base land units, called strata, within an eligible area of land.

By defining strata, the change in carbon stocks can be averaged across all growing plots within a strata to calculate carbon abatement.

These site characteristics affect tree growth:

  • tree species
  • time of planting
  • soil type
  • climate
  • disturbance history, such as fires or disease outbreaks.

You’re allowed to carry out one preparation burn in each strata before planting. You can apply fertiliser to each strata only once in every 25-year period.

You also need to plan the number of trees to plant per hectare so that your planting has the potential to achieve forest cover. Forest cover is 20% crown cover at a minimum tree height of 2 metres across at least 0.2 hectares.

Trees can be planted in belt or block configurations, or a combination of both. Projects under this method are subject to permanence obligations.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 3 and part 4, section 17 of the method
  • Part 3 table 1 of the explanatory statement

You need access to forestry expertise to run measurements and calculations. This can be your own expertise, or you can hire someone external to help.

Relevant legislation:
  • Section 13(f) of the rule

25 years

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 5 sections 69(2) and 70(2) of the Act

Abatement is calculated by measuring the change in the amount of carbon stored in a project area through:

  • growth of trees
  • natural decay
  • disturbance events, which subtract emissions from fire and fuel used to establish and maintain the project
  • infield measurements:
    • field inventory, where sufficient plots are measured within a strata
    • permanent sample plot assessment, which involves the establishment of permanently marked plots with fixed locations.

You must also meet the specific calculations required, per the method.

Relevant legislation:
  • Parts 4 and 5 of the method

You must monitor growth disturbance events within the project area.

You must also remember to meet to the general monitoring requirements of the Act.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 17 of the Act
  • Section 124 of the method

You must meet the record-keeping requirements of the Act and the rule.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 17 of the Act
  • Part 17 of the rule

You must meet the record-keeping requirements of the Act and the rule.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 6 of the Act
  • Part 6 of the rule

We provide you with an audit schedule when your project's declared.

You must provide audit reports according to this schedule.

We schedule at least 3 audits, and additional audits can be triggered.

For more information, refer to our auditing information.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 19 of the Act
  • Part 19 of the rule