Copy
View this email in your browser

Report from the Coordinator


Thank you to Eric Lede for his hard work as Acting Coordinator of ICIN over the past three months since I took some time off to give birth to my baby girl, Freya, in August. Eric will continue working for ICIN part-time to assist the working group to organise the upcoming Savanna Fire Forum.

As you can see ICIN is very busy raising awareness of the Indigenous carbon industry and working with its members and governments to contribute to key policy and scientific discussions. We have also been working to help secure long-term funding of the North Australia Fire Information service and to better understand how we can help support and strengthen Indigenous carbon businesses beyond 2020.

Our members have experienced a difficult year as a result of the hot and dry weather over the past few months. Very hot and widespread fires on the East Coast also triggered a conversation in the media about the need for fire management. There has never been a better time to get together to share knowledge about fire management across the north.

Registrations for the 2020 North Australian Savanna Fire Forum are now open, please buy tickets early as we did sell out last year. We are still accepting Expressions of Interest to present, so if you have a bright idea, please share it with us.

For Savanna Fire Forum matters, Eric can be contacted at savannafireforum@gmail.com.

Otherwise please feel free to contact me at icin@warddeken.org.au or 0417 989 577, Tuesday to Friday.

Best wishes

Anna Boustead
Coordinator, Indigenous Carbon Industry Network
e. icin@warddeken.org.au
p. 0417 989 577
Visit ICIN on Facebook

ICIN UPDATES


Territory NRM Conference

ICIN presented at the Climate Change Adaptation workshop as part of the Territory NRM Conference last week, along with other NT industry bodies. Our experience in 2019 has demonstrated that not only are carbon businesses responding to climate change through abating greenhouse gas emissions; but they are also impacted by climate change through a trend in longer, hotter fire seasons and managing increasingly hotter fires as a result.

We also presented a poster summarising the outcomes of the 2019 Savanna Fire Forum. See below for details of how to register for the 2020 Savanna Fire Forum.

Congratulations to Mimal Land Management, who took out the Indigenous Land Management award and to Fred Hunter, who won the Ranger of the Year, very well-deserved recognition!

Tiwi Resources and the Tiwi Island Rangers presented a talk about their carbon project and work they are doing to find out more about the interaction between feral cats, fire and biodiversity.

The Larrakia Rangers described how they are working with CSIRO to monitor air pollution at Gunn Point, NT. They have found a massive increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases over the past ten years which fits with the unfortunate global trend in rising emissions.
 
Full list of 2019 NT Natural Resource Management Award Winners
Images:
  1. Tiwi Island Rangers present a summary of their fire project at the Territory NRM conference
  2. Mimal women rangers present ‘Gundung’ -  Strong Women’s Network mural http://www.mimal.org.au/latest-news/TNRM-2019
  3. Larrakia Rangers – BAPS atmospheric greenhouse gas
Images: BOM describe how Australia is being impacted by worsening fire seasons and more extreme hot weather as a result of climate change.
Abatement Review

ICIN is concerned by the release of a discussion paper by a Carbon Abatement Expert Review panel set up by Minister for Energy and Emission Reduction, Angus Taylor in a very short time frame without any open public consultation. The Experts Panel is investigating options for increasing Australia’s carbon abatement through the $2 billion Climate Solutions Fund. It flagged some worrying policy change options which would impact negatively on the Indigenous carbon industry and could undermine the integrity of Australian carbon credit units.

ICIN supports the need for the Emissions Reduction Fund to be reviewed and is seeking to better inform this process given that the Indigenous carbon industry successfully generates around 10% of Australia's total ACCUs. More information, including a link to the paper, can be found in the articles below:
More background
Read the Discussion Paper
Northern Territory Government Climate Change Response

ICIN made a submission to the climate change response. Our submission strongly supported the NT Government’s commitment to a net-zero emissions target and an Aboriginal Carbon Industry Strategy and called for real action and support to implement these strategies. This includes supporting start-up funding for carbon projects, resourcing ICIN post-2020, resourcing the North Australia Fire Information service and creating a stable policy environment by ensuring that all government legislation and decision-making are consistent with these strategies, particularly reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors.
Clean Energy Regulator’s Aggregator workshop

On October 9th, the Clean Energy Regulator held an Aggregator Workshop to discuss what they called ‘’pain points’’ or barriers in the carbon industry. ICIN and Kimberly Land Council attended the workshop and raised several key issues in the Indigenous carbon industry. These included, but were not limited to:
  • Recognition that some issues such as start-up carbon project costs are exacerbated within the Indigenous carbon industry. This recognition will lead to identifying possible solutions;
  • Changes in the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC) process that currently takes too long to implement a new method;
  • Increased industry engagement when making changes to the Savanna Technical Guidance Document;
  • ‘Road testing’ of new methods to identify errors before they are rolled out to industry;
  • Transition periods that allow sequestration projects to transition from 25- to 100- year permanence periods;
  • Better engagement with industry, particularly with on-ground organisations;
  • The need for a FAQ page for the Clean Energy Regulator website, which will also include a list of decisions made;
  • Difficult, time-consuming, and overlapping reporting and auditing processes;
  • Increased transparency in the market.
Inquiry into Australia's faunal extinction crisis

ICIN submitted a response to the Senate Inquiry into Australia's faunal extinction crisis. Our responses discussed the use of fire as a management tool within the Indigenous carbon industry.

Key Points that ICIN put forward:
  1. ICIN recognises that there have been widespread faunal species declines across northern Australia;
  2. A significant factor in the decline of small mammal species is the severity, frequency and extent of destructive late dry season wildfires in the landscape;
  3. There is a need to implement appropriate and successful fire management-related solutions to the faunal crisis;
  4. Solutions must be generated with two-way learning by weaving Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Western ways of knowing;
  5. Improvements need to be made in the investigation and monitoring of the impacts of fire management solutions on the health, diversity and abundance of fauna and flora;
  6. Existing funding streams must be improved to facilitate appropriate and successful fire management-related solutions.
Read ICIN's submission (Submission #22)
Read Committee’s report
National Biodiversity Offsets Conference

ICIN attended the 2019 National Biodiversity Offsets Conference between 26-28 August in Canberra. There is interest by all levels of government throughout Australia to implement biodiversity offsets in a similar way to Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). The National Biodiversity Offsets Conference heard from governments, academics, the legal fraternity and others about a range of topics such as:

•          History and effectiveness in addressing environmental impacts;
•          Practical experiences;
•          Different ways to measure impact and calculating offset delivery; and
•          Benefits of direct, indirect and ‘pay and go’ offsets.
CMI’s Carbon Farming Forum

ICIN attended Carbon Market Institute’s (CMI) 2019 Carbon Farming Forum. The Forum, held on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast between 29-30 August included a wide range of stakeholders in the carbon sector.

The Forum provided an opportunity to focus on indigenous carbon farming achievements, partnerships and steps to encourage even greater participation. Otto Campion (Senior Ranger, ASRAC Rangers) spoke on a panel about ‘Right Way Engagement: Not Wrong Way – Better Together’. Otto made a powerful presentation that spoke in depth about the need for appropriate engagement with Traditional Owners, the importance of Traditional Knowledge throughout the carbon project process, the social, cultural, and environmental benefits of indigenous carbon projects, and the path forward.

The Forum discussed new opportunities for valuing ‘blue carbon’ – in mangroves and seagrasses and the practicality of doing this in northern Australia where the development pressure upon these ecosystems is relatively small. This notion, however, may change with recent attention on mangrove threats in northern Australia (see article below)

There may also be some opportunities to draw capacity from knowledge-sharing platforms, such as the Coastal Carbon Research Coordination Centre’s Coastal Carbon Atlas, which shows who is researching blue carbon, and where.

There will be a review of the Safeguard Mechanism in 2020.
ABC article on mangrove threats in northern Australia
Coastal Carbon Research Coordination Centre
Coastal Carbon Atlas
NT Environmental Protection Bill Parliamentary Hearing

ICIN was invited to speak in a public hearing before the Social Policy Scrutiny Committee in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, to address concerns raised about the NT Environmental Protection Bill in ICIN’s submission (see below). 

In response, the Committee recommended that:
 
...clause 42(b) be amended to include the impacts of a changing climate as a matter to be taken into account when assessing, planning and carrying out actions that may have a significant impact on the environment.

ICIN also questioned the extent to which the Bill caters for carbon offsets and suggested that they need to be defined separately from other types of environmental offsets. In response, the Committee sought clarification as to how the framework would be developed.

The Department subsequently advised the Committee that:
 
...the offset clauses have been drafted to provide flexibility in the development of the offsets framework. It is not considered necessary to separately define carbon offsets in the Bill for the purpose of the offsets framework. It is anticipated that the offset framework will consider biodiversity and carbon offsets in the first instance. The drafting of these clauses allows the framework to be extended to social offsets at an appropriate time. The intent of the offset provisions in the Bill is to provide a statutory power that can mandate an offset in circumstances where it is considered appropriate to use an offset. The environmental offset framework will be used to provide guidance and certainty to the community and proponents on how the offset statutory power in the Territory will be applied. As there is currently no statutory power in the Territory to mandate an offset, the proposed framework is being developed through a consultative process that is commonly applied in the development of government policies. Inclusion of specific provisions detailing how the offset framework would be developed is considered to be unnecessary and onerous.
ICIN submission
Full Committee report
Latest news: Environmental regulatory reform
Images: Dr. Jennifer Ansell (CEO, ALFA NT) and Eric Lede (Acting Coordinator, ICIN) speaking at the public hearing.

INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES


David Bowman in The Conversation: Our Land is Burning and Western Science Does Not Have All The Answers
19 November 2019


Last week’s catastrophic fires on Australia’s east coast – and warnings of more soon to come – will become all too common as climate change gathers pace. And as the challenges of modern hazard reduction become clear, there is much to learn from the ancient Aboriginal practice of burning country.
View the article here
Video: Indigenous cultural burning in Venezuela

Use of the fire of the Pemón indigenous communities and its importance for the conservation of the Canaima National Park (Venezuela) (English subtitles)
View the video here

New Carbon Farming units now published

The Australian Government has published new units of competency and the skill sets for carbon farming which can be delivered by eligible Registered Training Organisation around Australia. The units provide for a variety of entry points by carbon farming practitioners and allow flexibility for units delivered on country.  Specialised skill sets and units have been delivered targeted at those who are working or would like to work in the savanna burning carbon industry.

New skill sets include:

New skill sets include:

More information about available carbon farming units can be found here:

For more information
International Savanna Fire Management Initiative (ISFMI) newsletter

From the 11 to 21 May 2019 the International Savanna Fire Management Initiative (ISFMI) hosted a delegation of indigenous rangers and leading fire scientists from Northern Australia into Botswana. Over 10 days fire knowledge and traditional management practices were shared with the people of Botswana. Check out their newsletter here:
ISFMI newsletter
Contemporary Aboriginal savanna burning projects in Arnhem Land: a regional description and analysis of the fire management aspirations of Traditional Owners
Jennifer Ansell, Jay Evans, Adjumarllarl Rangers, Arafura Swamp Rangers, Djelk Rangers , Jawoyn Rangers, Mimal Rangers, Numbulwar Numburindi Rangers, Warddeken Rangers, Yirralka Rangers, and Yugul Mangi Rangers
International Journal of Wildland Fire

The growth of the carbon industry in Australia over the last decade has seen an increase in the number of eligible offsets projects utilising the savanna burning methods in northern Australia. Many of these projects are operated by Aboriginal people on Aboriginal lands utilising local Aboriginal knowledge and customary burning practice. The present paper reviews existing land management planning documents to describe the aspirations of Traditional Owners in relation to fire management at a regional scale in Arnhem Land. Available data collected in the course of savanna burning operations are then utilised to examine the extent to which the savanna burning projects are meeting these goals. There were six clear goals in relation to fire management within the planning documents across Arnhem Land. Traditional Owners want to: (1) continue the healthy fire management of their country; (2) see fewer wildfires; (3) protect biodiversity; (4) protect culturally important sites; (5) maintain and transfer knowledge; and (6) create a carbon abatement. The results from this paper suggest that although the savanna burning projects are annually variable, these goals are being met. Importantly, the present paper clearly communicates a description of contemporary fire management from the perspective of Traditional Owners at a broad regional scale.
Link to paper
Permits to burn: weeds, slow violence, and the extractive future of northern Australia
Timothy Neale & Jennifer Mairi Macdonald
Australian Geographer

This essay narrates the ‘slow violence’, or creeping environmental harms taking place within contemporary environmental governance. It centres on a tall, dense and highly flammable introduced pasture species Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus), which was listed as a weed across north Australian jurisdictions in 2008. Since this time, it has continued to expand its reach across the Northern Territory (NT). With a potential invasion range of over 380,000 sqkm2, this grass is a serious threat to many more-than-human worlds in the north, including Indigenous-led and Indigenous-owned environmental service economies and multimillion-dollar projects engaged in savanna fire management for carbon credits. Drawing upon fieldwork and interviews with a range of public servants, landholders and researchers in the NT between 2015 and 2018, this essay demonstrates how environmental governance is being undermined through specific institutions and practices. Through an ethnographic reading of weed management documents, including several legal permits to grow Gamba grass within the NT’s ‘eradication zone’, this essay narrates the diverse threads of a pressing ‘slow’ disaster. The unfolding story of Gamba grass, we suggest, is instructive for those seeking to understand the present and future of resource extraction or ‘extractivism’ in Australia and elsewhere.
Link to paper

UPCOMING EVENTS


Western Australian Government Climate Change Strategy

ICIN is working with its WA members to put in a submission. Submissions are due this Friday, please see here for more information and to make a brief comment on the strategy.
Comment on strategy
Training Opportunity: Core Benefits Framework
Aboriginal Carbon Foundation

2-5 December 2019 and 3-6 February 2020 (four days)

If you’re an Aboriginal ranger or a pastoralist doing a savanna burning project and want a greater understanding of carbon farming and/or maximise your profits in the voluntary carbon market, then this training is for you.You will be trained to understand how a savanna burning project works and in the verification of environmental, social and cultural core benefits:

If you or anybody that you know is interested in the above training or would like to register, please contact Hugh Woodbury from CfAT at hugh.woodbury@cfat.org.au.
Australian Wildlife Management Society Conference
Darwin
3-5 December 2019
The conference will feature symposia on the following topics:
  • Indigenous management of wildlife
  • Using fire to manage wildlife
  • Land manager/practitioner symposium
  • Open symposium
Visit conference website
2020 North Australian Savanna Fire Forum
Darwin
18-19 February, 2020

After experiencing an extreme fire season in 2019, it has never been more important to get together to share knowledge to improve our understanding and practice of savanna fire management. The forum is of interest to Indigenous land managers, rangers, fire practitioners, park managers, pastoralists, scientists, program managers,carbon industry practitioners or anyone working in the fire management and carbon sector.

In response to feedback that participants would like more opportunities to discuss particular issues affecting savanna fire management, this year’s program will include both plenary sessions and dedicated workshops.

Sessions
  • Updates from your experience of the 2018 fire season.
  • How is our fire weather changing?
  • How are fire regimes changing?
  • Sharing our fire knowledge
  • Savanna burning on the world stage
  • How do we support good fire management practices?
  • Decision-making in fire management
  • Fire Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Measuring, monitoring and enhancing co-benefits of carbon projects
  • Women and Fire
  • Fire Stories Talking Circle
  • Equipment for Fire Regimes
  • What is the Carbon Market?
  • Savanna burning carbon methods
  • Growing the Indigenous carbon industry
  • Fire Management Skills – training session
Last year's Savanna Fire Forum completely sold out, so we urge you to register for the forum at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

Ticket Prices
Tickets to the two day Savanna Fire Forum on 18-19 Feb are $50pp (including entry to forum and workshops). Tickets to the evening Networking Event on 18 Feb (6pm) are $40pp (including food and drinks). A 20% discount applies for group bookings of 5 participants. Refunds can be arranged up to one week prior to the forum if you have to cancel your ticket.
Visit conference website
Register Now
Copyright © 2019 Indigenous Carbon Industry Network, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp