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International spotlight on north Australian Indigenous fire management at UN Climate Change Conference in Doha - Dec 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 21:30 to Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 22:30
Event Type: 

Traditional fire management (Otto Campion)

The Australian Government is working with the United Nations University (UNU) and the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA) to examine how Australia's savanna fire management methodology and the experience in setting up offset projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can be shared with interested developing countries around the world.

Greg Combet, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Sam Johnston, Senior Research Fellow of UNU's Traditional Knowledge Initiative and Peter Yu, NAILSMA Chairman announced this new initiative at the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha 2012.

North Australia’s Savanna Fire Management, which combines traditional Indigenous burning practices with the latest scientific research and is recognised under Australia’s Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), can provide guidelines for the establishment of fire projects in developing countries where savanna landscapes and traditional fire management practices are similar to those in tropical Australia.

Indigenous land managers have been leading the development of the methodology for savanna fire management in Australia. The work that began with the award-winning West Arnhem Land Fire Management (WALFA) Project has paved the way for other Indigenous projects, such as the Fish River Fire Project, which is the first carbon emissions offsets project that was approved under the Government’s CFI.

Fire mangement projects have the potential to generate sustainable livelihoods in remote communities with little or no other opportunities for earning an income. But more importantly, they strengthen ties to culture and country and provide an opportunity for Indigenous people to stay on their ancestral estates.

Besides positive socio-ecnomic outcomes, savanna burning projects in Australia have also been delivering valuable co-benefits, such as significant improvement of the bio-diversity and overall pastoral property management regimes for livestock yields .

Australia's methodology and experiences might be applicable in at least twelve developing countries, including Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Colombia and Venezuela.

Please download a PDF of the Joint Media Release

More information can be found on the following websites:
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
United Nations University of Advanced Studies


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