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Report from the Coordinator


Welcome everyone to the new financial year. It has been a bumpy yet busy few months for the Indigenous carbon industry as coronavirus threw an unexpected curveball to groups managing carbon projects across the north.

It is inspiring to see how Indigenous ranger groups across the north have continued to manage fire on their country as part of their savanna carbon farming projects, sharing resources to support each other to carry out early dry season burns.

Firstly, I am pleased to announce that all of the governments across north Australia (NT, WA, QLD and Commonwealth) have collectively agreed to fund ICIN $100,000 for the 2020-2021 year, to assist us to:
a. Build capacity of the Indigenous Carbon Industry across northern Australia (W.A., N.T. and Qld) through facilitating active engagement, communication, and knowledge sharing within the network.
b. Work towards setting best-practice standards and guidelines for Indigenous engagement in the carbon farming industry.
c. Facilitate engagement and collaboration with state, territory and Australian governments in carbon farming policy development.
d. Increase access and engagement by Indigenous carbon farming projects with the corporate sector.

We will be seeking additional funds to support key events and communications, and provide further updates shortly.

Thank you to all of our members and supporters for your contribution towards building the network this past financial year.

The Indigenous carbon industry continues to grow each year, and despite a very challenging 12 months with a generally hot and dry year 2019 followed by the Coronavirus crisis putting restrictions in place across remote communities, by being innovative and sharing resources, projects across the north were able to successfully plan and conduct early dry season burning in 2020.

To find out more, please see our 2019-2020 Annual Report, available online now:

Best wishes

Anna Boustead
Coordinator, Indigenous Carbon Industry Network
e. icin@warddeken.org.au
p. 0417 989 577
View ICIN Annual Story Report

ICIN UPDATES


TODAY - ICIN Website Launch and CMI Online Conversation

We are pleased to announce that the new ICIN website will be launched today, Friday July 31 at 12pm AEST as part of the Carbon Market Institute Indigenous Carbon Conversation which features ICIN members.
  • Shilo Villaflor of Aboriginal Carbon Foundation,
  • Willie Rioli of Tiwi Resources/ ICIN Steering Committee
  • Nolan Hunter of Kimberley Land Council
 The new ICIN website will help us to share information, profiles of your carbon projects, the latest news and connect online.

This is the first stage launch. We will continue to update the website based upon your feedback and add any additional features needed for the second stage launch

Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Further information about registering for webinar is available here.
 
Register for CMI Indigenous Carbon Conversation
Save the North Australian Fire Information Service 

It is great news to see that the North Australian Fire Information - NAFI service has received funds from the Australian Government for the next 12 months.

In May, ICIN coordinated a joint letter to Minister for Environment, Sussan Ley signed by 22 organisations which use the service, which is vital to the fire management by ICIN members to support Indigenous savanna carbon farming projects, and to all land managers across the north. ICIN is supporting NAFI to develop a governance model to assure the long-term resourcing of this critical service.

The Minister has advised that it will consider long-term funding requirements after the recommendations of the Bushfires Royal Commission are handed down. Given its focus on the need for fire information services which are accessible in very remote areas and across state/territory borders as well as to support Indigenous fire management practices, it would seem a no-brainer for the Australian Government to assure long-term funding of the NAFI service.
Read the letter
 
Indigenous groups innovate and adapt to Coronavirus crisis to complete early dry season burning

Early dry season burning across north Australia is now complete as Indigenous ranger groups continue to manage their savanna carbon projects using a patchwork of cool burns despite the challenges of coronavirus restrictions. Critical infrastructure such as outstations and ranger stations enabled Indigenous rangers to isolate from larger communities during restrictions, enabling them to continue fire management. Groups in the same region were also able to work together to share resources such as helicopters and pilots.

ABC covered a story about how rangers across Arnhem Land were able to do early dry season burning during the Coronavirus crisis.
ABC News - May 8 - Getting creative with dry season burn offs

Bushfires Royal Commission highlights the many benefits of enabling Indigenous fire management  

Indigenous fire management experts, including West Arnhem Land fire ecologist and Senior Traditional Owner Dean Yibarbuk (pictured) and Victor Steffensen of the Firesticks Alliance presented to the Bushfires Royal Commission last month.

Informed by advice from its members, ICIN responded to several questions from the Commission in writing, highlighting that Indigenous-led savanna carbon farming projects have been a key enabler of reinvigorating Indigenous fire management across 17.9 million hectares of north Australia.
Read ICIN Submission to the Bushfires Royal Commission
Opportunities to support Economic Recovery through Carbon Markets

Supporting new Indigenous-led economies such as the carbon economy, cultural economy and nature-based economies will be key to Australia truly becoming a Low Emissions economy.

ICIN recently asked the Australian Government Technology Investment Roadmap Taskforce to reference the opportunity to invest in Research and Development to develop methods which account for the carbon benefits of Indigenous land and sea management, as well as to account for the social and environmental costs and benefits of different pathways outlined in the Roadmap.

Investing in Indigenous-led scientific methods which measure the carbon benefits generated by Indigenous land and sea management, although based upon ancient traditional practices should be regarded as “new technology” given that this requires investment in new research and development as well as support for new tools (such as GIS mapping, NAFI videos, drone footage, 3D maps) which enable Indigenous groups to manage such vast landscapes and access hard to reach areas.

Connecting this Investment Roadmap to strategies to “Close the Gap” on Indigenous disadvantage and to support the government's response to Climate Change by supporting the Indigenous carbon industry is vital.

Last month ICIN presented to the New Economy Network Australia (NENA) new NT hub about the Indigenous carbon industry as part of a webinar about innovative economies for the Northern Territory. NENA is a network of individuals and organisations working to transform Australia’s economic system so that achieving ecological health and social justice are the foundational principles and primary objectives of the economic system. The presentation and others are available here.
 
We also informed the Beyond Zero Emissions; Million Jobs Plan which outlines pathways to support economically, environmentally and socially sustainable economies to rapidly cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

States and Territories are also reviewing their economic frameworks in response to the COVID-19, which is an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of Indigenous carbon projects for the environment, communities and culture. The Northern Territory Government invited ICIN to make a submission to the Economic Reconstruction Committee. All submissions and reports by the Commission can be found at the NT Rebound website. 
Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission website
Early dry season burning by Arafura Swamp Rangers near Ramingining, NT to support the West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement Project (Photo: David Hancock) 

INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES


New Website Makes it Easier to Track Carbon Credits

The Clean Energy Regulator has launched a new website which makes it easier to track when, where and how Australian Carbon Credit Units are produced, making it easier for producers and sellers of Indigenous ACCUs to provide assurance to Buyers of the co-benefits of their product, such as improvements in biodiversity through fire management, increased capacity of Indigenous land management groups and providing jobs on country in very remote areas.
 
Go to the Clean Energy Regulator website
Northern Territory Government Climate Change Response

The Northern Territory Government released its Climate Change Response and Three-Year Action Plan last week. It includes recognition of a commitment to continue to support the growth and development of the Territory’s carbon market industry and promote Aboriginal jobs on country as well as to develop a greenhouse gas emissions offset policy, two positions ICIN has been advocating for over the past two years.
We welcome the release of the strategy and look forward to seeing details of how the action plan will be resourced, including how the government will recognise and strengthen support for Aboriginal groups doing critical work caring for country as part of both the climate change response and the economic recovery of the NT.

The Government also released an Offsets Framework, which is mainly focused on supporting a biodiversity offset policy. In its submission to the draft framework, NT ICIN members urged the government to develop a dedicated carbon offsets policy as soon as possible. Although it is good to see that carbon offsets are recognised in the framework, it is disappointing that after several consultation workshops and meetings, this policy is now scheduled to be developed in 2022.
New Fact Sheets explain the Carbon Market

With the support of the Queensland State Government's Department of Environment and Science, the Carbon Market Institute have launched a suite of new fact sheets covering the following topics:
•             Carbon Farming
•             Carbon Markets
•             The Emissions Reduction Fund
•             Queensland's Land Restoration Fund
•             Participating in Australia's Carbon Market
•             Opportunities and Challenges for the Private Sector in Australia's Carbon Market, 
•             Carbon Farming Marketplace - Key Stakeholders

These fact sheets are intended to be a go-to resource that provides simple, accessible information on Australia's carbon market and carbon farming.
Carbon Market Fact Sheets
Copyright © 2020 Indigenous Carbon Industry Network, All rights reserved.


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