Roderic O’Connor is a landholder with broad-ranging business experience in agricultural and other commercial fields, with his property, Connorville, covering 17,600 hectares of land in Tasmania. Passionate about the environment, Roderic has taken a pragmatic approach in ensuring that his Tasmanian Midlands family farm business remains exceptionally managed during his stewardship.

Connorville is one of a dozen Tasmanian farms that have been entered in carbon crediting schemes. In 2011 the property was issued with verified carbon credits that are being sold on the international markets. The switch from being a farmer of trees, sheep and irrigated crops to one with a large focus on carbon trading came over the past few years, as Roderic observed the changing viability of the Tasmanian timber industry and the emerging global carbon economy.

Connorville (Photo: D. Sprod)

Roderic has divided his farm into distinct zones: intensive irrigated production, extensive cropping and grazing (9,400 ha), in perpetuity conservation (4,300), carbon forestry (3,500 ha) and areas voluntarily managed for conservation (500ha). The in-perpetuity conservation zones have attracted capital payments from conservation investors under programs run through the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC).

The carbon enterprise returns income from carbon credits as they are sold on the international market.

“Too few Australians realise that you can already trade carbon and farmers like my family are now being paid to do so,” Mr O’Connor said in 2011 (source: The Australian).

“By registering my forests for carbon offsets, I’m getting the same income as if I had harvested the trees, but I’m also delivering outcomes for the environment and for my family’s farming future.” (Source: The Australian)

(Thanks to Daniel Sprod and Roderic O’Connor for their preparation of the above story)

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