Greening the Desert is the regeneration of degraded soils and ecosystems for cooling the planet and feeding the world.
By partnering with Aboriginal & rural Australians together we are remediating drought and salinity afflicted marginal landscape & desert for valuable crops to combat global famine & climate change where otherwise, little else of value can grow.
Greening the Desert is a journey of empowerment and self –sufficiency for Aboriginal and rural Australians to remediate drought and salinity stricken marginal drylands and desert using species that grow perennial crops as food for human consumption and fodder for livestock.
Our species combat desertification, restore diminishing ecosystems and remediate eroded and man stricken landscapes caused by bad farming practices and mining – reviving and improving soil quality by a process called phyoremediation.
Our species improve the soil to create soil organic carbon (SOC) accredited to Gold Standard 3.0 – the highest accreditation standard in the World – producing carbon offset derived from projects that deliver additional commercial, social, cultural and environmental net gains for disadvantaged communities of the World.
Our perennial crops are non-GMO, producing high protein powder free-from gluten, soy, lactose, egg, nuts and all allergens for the high protein and allergen susceptible food industries.
Our species are university researched to improve the soil quality of desert and marginal drylands for crops that need negligible quantities of water, nil fertilizer and minimal tending to reduce the albedo effect; generate rainfall and cool the earth.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) improves soil conditions by returning and storing carbon in the earth to counter global warming and grow valuable crops for food for human consumption, animal feed and livestock grazing on otherwise barren land.
Scotdesco Aboriginal Community
Greening the Desert brings communities together.
A small Aboriginal community located on the edge of the Nullarbor Plain in western South Australia, Scotdesco is the first of our Aboriginal partners.
Here we are working together to turn marginal land in the Outback into one of the biggest carbon sinks and food bowls in the world.
This inspiring story of empowerment and self-sufficiency is encouraging a number of other neighbouring Aboriginal Communities and local farmers to join the mix to remediate 1000 square kilometres of marginal land of the Eyre Peninsular by 2021.
This will result in 500 new jobs including positions from a mill to be constructed at Ceduna.
Our SOC improvement methods enable crops that combat climate change, allowing Australia to meet its global emissions targets. By creating jobs we reduce welfare costs and grow food and fodder to address global famine.
This mill provides services not just for Scotdesco and Aboriginal produce, but will be used to mill locally grown grains and pulses for all of the farmers of the district.
These perennial cash crops are specifically non/GMO and are milled to produce livestock feed pellets and flour and high protein powder for the allergen susceptible industry – free-from gluten, soy, lactose, egg, nuts and all allergens.
“The Greening the Desert partnership with the Scotdesco Aboriginal Community is a vision of health and prosperity for the future wellbeing of our country and its people. It draws from spiritual, physical, social and cultural connections and the natural affinity and knowledge that Aboriginal Australians have of the land going back some 60,000 years, as the World’s oldest living culture.
“The cropping and manufacturing programs foster new employment, business, mentoring and training opportunities for Scotdesco and the regional community which over time, will deliver improved skills and the profitable returns and economic self-sufficiency in a manner that is dignified and respectful of Aboriginal history, culture and traditions”.
– Robert Larking – CEO Scotdesco Aboriginal Community
The Indigenous Monetary Fund of Australia (IMFA)
A key partner in the Scotdesco relationship is IMFA, introducing Australian Aboriginal Communities to the Greening the Desert Program.
IMFA identifies appropriate Aboriginal Communities and suitable sites, negotiating with tribal elders for partnership projects around Australia to draw on the success of the Scotdesco experience as the yardstick.
IMFA provides training programs and advice for emerging Aboriginal entrepreneurs to acquire the business skills necessary to engage in farming, cropping, milling and providing the services necessary to deliver products to the global marketplace.
It is planned that Aboriginal Communities will eventually assume total ownership and control of Greening the Desert business activities established on their lands.
Farmers of the Victorian Wimmera
Greening the Desert is the nominated agent to implement the Wimmera Carbon Ready Plan (WCRP)
This plan is promoted by the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority (WCMA) whereby 860 landowners with more 60,000 Hectares of marginal land have been introduced to Greening the Desert to implement the WCRP.
This will generate Gold Standard 3.0 qualified carbon credits as well as delivering ongoing income from productive crops for milling on land that otherwise would be non-productive.
Soil Carbon, Food Security & the UAE
Greening the Desert is the partner for land remediation trials for the Royal Group of Abu Dhabi.
This Company has established trial plots in partnership with Greening the Desert at Ghayathi and Barqua Al Suqor on land owned and monitored by the Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency.
It is expected after three years, a minimum of 25% of vegetation cover will include seedlings from project plants to have germinated without human intervention.
This stated goal was met when live cover reached 13.5% of the subject land mass, consisting of at least ten (10) of our species. The coverage is now almost 40%.
The video below from thesoilstory.com is a simple explanation of the role of soil in our Greening the Desert program.
The University of Tasmania (UTas)
An important partner in the Greening the Desert Program is UTas which conducted the research to identify appropriate plant species by way of an ARC Linkage Research Grant, the outcome being the publication of five (5) scientific research papers of global significance.
 Panta, S., Flowers, T., Lane, P., Doyle, R., Haros, G., Shabala, S. 2014. Halophyte agriculture: Success Stories. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 107, 71-83.
Panta, S., Lane, P., Doyle, R., Hardie, M., Haros, G., Shabala, S., 2015. Halophytes as a Possible Alternative to Desalination Plants: Prospects of Recycling Saline Wastewater During Coal Seam Gas Operations”, Halophytes for Food Security in Dry Lands, Academic Press, MA Khan, M Ozturk, B Gul, MZ Ahmed (ed), United States of America, pp. 317-329.
Panta, S., Flowers, T., Doyle, R., Lane, P., Haros, G., Shabala, S. 2016. Growth responses of Atriplex lentiformis and Medicago arborea in three soil types treated with saline water irrigation. Environmental and Experimental Botany.
Panta, S., Hardie, M., Doyle, R., Lane, P., Flowers, T., Haros, G., Shabala, S., 2016. Changes in soil chemical properties of a sodic texture-contrast soil (Brown Sodosol) after irrigation with saline water. Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment (submitted for publication).
Gold Standard 3.0 Carbon Offset
Greening the Desert will qualify for Gold Standard 3.0 accreditation for its carbon offset in partnership with the Regenerative Australian Farmers Group.
This standard demands additional accreditation factors by improving living standards, community health, job and employment opportunities and the delivery of food and water security for disadvantaged communities of the World.
Gold Standard 3.0 qualified projects must apply best practices; consult with local stakeholders; continually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environment and people’s lives to compel activities that qualify for social, commercial, cultural and environmental net gains.
The Government of Luxembourg, BIX Capital, World Bank and Global Alliance have all registered collaborations under Gold Standard 3.0.
Producing Carbon Offset
Some of our species have been identified by the United Nations Carbon Emission Trading Scheme as extremely important for the capture of carbon in the soil.
These species belong to 1% of the known plant species that use a process called C4 photosynthesis (or C4 carbon fixation) whereby the conversion of atmospheric carbon gas into plant material uses less oxygen, less water, fewer nutrients and minimal destruction of living tissues during the process.
Soil Organic Carbon (SOC)
Our methods mimic nature by engaging in grazing practices using native grasses and plant species that profoundly affect the ability of the soil to remediate by increasing SOC from the methodology known as phytoremediation.
Most importantly – our methodologies change lives by providing rural and Indigenous communities with social, economic and environmental net gains.
Our species have been researched and selected for their ability to:
- Combat weeds;
- tolerate salinity;
- fix soil nitrogen;
- withstand drought;
- require nil fertilizer;
- improve ground cover;
- revive wildlife habitat;
- repair diminishing ecosystems;
- withstand extreme temperatures;
- generate continuing plant and root growth;
- remediate landscape damage by fire, flood and pestilence;
- reduce erosion caused by wind, rising water tables and shifting sand;
- remediate landscape damaged by mining and bad land management and improve farming outcomes.
As well as delivering crops for milling and Gold Standard 3.0 carbon offset from the capture of carbon in the soil, additional outcomes include:
- Quality, high protein, non-genetically modified food for human consumption for the intolerance food industry – (ie free from dairy, soy, gluten, egg, nuts and all other allergens);
- Low cost livestock pellets for improved growth and a juicy and tender tasting meat outcome;
- A halt to desertification and land degradation;
- Sustainable agricultural processes to improve dryland farming from crops that can be harvested many times a year for more than 40 years for both human food security and livestock feed;
- Limited or neglible need for irrigation, fertiliser and/or pesticides;
- Community employment; business opportunities and economic, social, cultural, sporting development and related net gains arising from improved farmland grazing, cropping, milling and related downstream business activities.
- Reducing the albedo effect and causing more rain to fall on drought stricken land;
- Eventual self-sufficiency and project ownership of Greening the Desert projects by Aboriginal and rural Australians.
In an era of natural disasters, global famine, homeless and stateless refugees and climatic extremes – food security (with water and shelter) is becoming one of the most valuable commodities in the world.
About 1/3rd of the land surface of the World is desert  and by the year 2050, the global population will be about 9.5 billion people.  To match this burgeoning growth, food production will need increase by 44 million tonnes every year for 40 years.
About 5.7 million hectares of Australian land is affected by dryland salinity – about 80% of which is required for agriculture and this figure will triple to 17 million hectares by 2050, unless something practical can be done. 
 Fraser Cain – Universe Today June 1, 2010
 Tester and Langridge 2012 and FOI 2011
 National Land and Water Resource Audit, Dryland Salinity in Australia 2000.
In the UN Decade of Desertification the vulnerability of the World is extreme.
Drylands are home to 2.1 billion people, meeting the basic needs for a significant proportion of the world and harboring some of the world’s most valuable and rare biodiversity.
One crop in every three crops under cultivation has its origins in drylands – supporting 50% of the world’s livestock and wildlife and accounting for nearly half of all cultivated land systems.
GTD business is guided by a highly experienced, credible and knowledgeable Advisory Board and executive team.
Mr. Gabriel Haros
Founder and Managing Director
A former Tasmanian parliamentarian and lawyer Gabriel founded the PundaZoie Company Pty. Ltd. which is the owner of the intellectual property comprising the Greening the Desert program in the early 1990’s.
The word PundaZoie is comprised of two Greek words meaning “everlasting life.”
Mobile +61. 438 116 649
Mr. Jeffrey Castellas
Jeff Castellas is the founder of Clean Technology AustralAsia.
Jeff has enjoyed 20 years of professional investment banking and corporate advisory experience and is acknowledged as an international expert in corporate structuring and capital raising in the agricultural, energy and mining sectors who advises ASX and private companies on commercialisation and investment.
Mobile +61. 401 067 252
Mr. Parry Agius
Parry is Chairman of IMFA (Indigenous Monetary Fund of Australia) and President and Director for Aboriginal Business, Industry Chamber of South Australia Inc. and a panel member of the Federal Court of Australia. .
Parry is a a Sessional Commissioner for the Environmental Development Court of South Australia and a Board Member, CSIRO Minerals Resources.
Mobile +61. 419 814 060
Mr. Robert Larking
Robert is CEO of the Scotdesco Aboriginal Corporation responsible for day to day operations and management, reporting to Scotdesco Board of Management.
Robert skills lie in people management, financial services and community services.
He is a former member of the National CDEP Consultative Group and a Justice of the Peace for South Australia.
Mobile +61. 8. 86256222
Mr. Sash Nikolovski CFO
Sash spearheads all compliance requirements for the company and is a Principal of a successful professional services firm with more than 20 years of experience.
Sash is a member of CPA Australia, a Certified Tax Advisor with the Taxation Institute of Australia, a Registered Tax Agent with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Latrobe University and a specialist in areas such as Research & Development including assistance with Government grants, superannuation, and related issues.
Mobile +61 488 666 086
Advisory Board Members
GTD Management is strengthened by the appointment of an Advisory Board comprising acknowledged and successful experts invited from a number of relevant fields to reflect the sustainable agricultural nature of the Company’s business. The Advisory board brings together a range of business experiences and skills to successfully deliver program.
These people have agreed to participate on the Advisory Board having shown outstanding capabilities in their respective fields of commerce, science, international affairs, business, research, marketing and Indigenous affairs as follows:
Dr. Nicholas Charles Hope AM
Nick is the former Director of the Stanford Center for International Development (SCID) and its China Program Director at Stanford University.
He was employed at the World Bank for 24 years serving as Director, Office of the Vice President, Europe and Central Asia; Country Director, China & Mongolia; Director, World Bank Resident Staff in Indonesia; and chief of multiple finance, industry and energy divisions.
Nick is a Rhodes Scholar with a PhD from Princeton and earlier degrees from UTas and Oxford and a Member of the Order of Australia (2012) for services to global economics.
Dr. Katherine Woodthorpe
In 2013 Katherine was cited in the Australian Financial Review as one of the “100 Women of Influence”.
Past Chief Executive of AVCAL, the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Katherine has held a broad range of management and board positions in Australia and overseas and a deep knowledge of the private equity industry and the superannuation industry.
Dr. John White
Executive Director, Ignite Energy Resources John is a former Chairman of Global Renewables formed in 2000 to pursue greenhouse gas reduction opportunities by providing solutions for waste reduction.
John had extensive involvement with Woodside’s North West Shelf Offshore LNG Development and helped to instigate the RAN Submarine Project tenders and subsequently headed the teams that successfully tendered for the purchase of Williamstown Naval Dockyard from the Australian Government, the completion of the Australian Frigate Project (2 FFGs) and the $5 billion ANZAC Frigate Project (10 ANZACs).
Dr. Professor Sergey Shabala
Professor Shabala leads the Stress Physiology Research group and Land & Food Division at UTas and is ranked within top 0.5% scientists working in the area of Plant and Animal Science according to ISI Essential Science Indicators ranking.
Recently he was elected to serve the ARC College of Experts and since 2016 assumed the role of the President of the Australian Society of Plant Scientists.
Projects Management Team
Dr. Suresh Panta
Suresh is responsible for science and research. Joining our team in 2014, Suresh holds two postgraduate degrees in Agricultural science as well as a PhD from the School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania.
Suresh’s research is in highly saline agriculture where he investigated the sustainable use of saline water for irrigated halophytic plant production in degraded land; plant adaptive responses to extreme environments (soil and water salinity, drought, and waterlogging) soil health and the rehabilitation of degraded land. Suresh is a member of Soil Science Australia and the Australian Society of Plant Scientists.
Mobile +61. 421 358 669
A graduate in botany and geology from the University of Tasmania, Roy has been a science teacher, Supervisor of Science in the Tasmanian Education Dept., managing director of both a computer training company and a Web design and marketing business operator.
Roy has acted as a consultant in business management and project development and for the PundaZoie Company for the last five years, Roy has been involved in developing projects and management structures.
Mobile +61. 438 392 041
Elizabeth (Biz) Nicholson
Tasmanian farmer and seed producer, Elizabeth (Biz) is the proprietor of the specialist Tasmanian wild seeds production company Taz Wild Seeds as well as Taz Wild Foods (a grower of Tasmanian sea vegetables) and is an experienced and successful farmer in her own right.
Biz’s family run 18,000 sheep on their Tasmanian farm where Biz propagates and grows native species for a broad range of practical purposes.
Phone +61. 3. 6384 2165
Greening the Desert has engaged with a number of companies and groups to assist it as consultants and advisors, some of which are listed below:
- Seed germination and seed integrity assurance – clay seed prilling and capsules – seedPurity seedpurity.com.au
- Carbon sequestration and Gold Standard 3.0 accreditation – Corporate Carbon corporatecarbon.com.au
- Soil, water, vegetation and biodiversity management and baselining – Regenerative Australian Farmers rafgroup.com.au
- Pulse protein extraction methodologies and opportunities – Wimmera Development Authority wda.org.au
- Saltbush Land Program (trial partnerships and testing procedures) – Wimmera Management Catchment Authority wmca.vic. gov.au
- Milling processes, mechanical devices (testing, product development and methodologies) Alligrator (Australia) Pty. Ltd. alligrator.com
Should you wish to support our work, become involved in our activities, receive more information or if we can address a specific need for you about Greening the Desert™ please feel free to contact one of our team members by phone or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The PundaZoie Company P/L (ACN 101 489 605)