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A message from the Clean Energy Regulator and Indigenous Carbon Industry Network

09 July 2021

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2021 is Heal Country, and the Clean Energy Regulator is proud to be associated with the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network to further the Indigenous carbon sector. This industry reflects traditional knowledge and care for Country through savanna burning to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions.

Savanna burning is one of the carbon abatement methods under the Clean Energy Regulator’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

Without fire management, the savannas in northern Australia burn predominantly in the late dry season, resulting in large, hot and intense fires. These fires produce more greenhouse gas emissions and burn a greater proportion of dead organic matter than fires that occur under cooler, moister conditions in the early dry season.

ERF savanna fire management projects aim to reduce the frequency and extent of late dry season fires in savannas, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and more carbon being sequestered in dead organic matter.

Projects may undertake fire management activities throughout the year. Planned burning occurs primarily in the early dry season and may include igniting fires from aircraft, from vehicles along the sides of roads and tracks, from boats on waterways, or by walking across Country. Other fire management activities include burning firebreaks to prevent the spread of unplanned fire or undertaking fire suppression in the late dry season. The specific type and timing of fire management will depend on landscape features within the project area and local weather conditions.

The savanna burning projects within the ERF were created as a result of combining traditional knowledge with contemporary science. The methods demonstrate the advantages that come from working with the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network and their mission to help Indigenous groups participate in the carbon market, reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by caring for Country.

The benefits of the savanna burning projects are many. Working and earning an income from the land brings Traditional Owners back to their country and strengthens communities. Traditional knowledge and practices are valued and actively handed down from elders to younger generations. Savanna burning practices create the opportunity for additional land management practices to be undertaken and supports Traditional Owners to fulfil their cultural obligations to look after Country.

It builds on both traditional and western knowledge of Country through opportunities for exchange of cultural and scientific information, and provides meaningful employment and training opportunities in very remote areas, where jobs are often scarce.

The Clean Energy Regulator is proud to be helping to Heal Country as part of the Indigenous carbon industry story.

For more information on the Clean Energy Regulator’s savanna burning projects please visit our website or download a factsheet. For information on the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network’s savanna burning projects and member organisations, please visit the ICIN website.



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