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September/October 2021

Network Update

Report from the Coordinator

The network continues to grow over the past few months and with it our scope is now also expanded beyond the north, to support knowledge sharing about the Indigenous carbon industry across all of Australia, beyond the savanna fire management methods.
 
The ICIN team are in the process of delivering a Scoping Report about opportunities in the carbon market, as well as Fact Sheets, Story Reports and Videos to support Indigenous organisations to Understand the Carbon Market. These resources will be made available to members and on our website, to summarise opportunities available to support Indigenous land and sea management programs through the carbon industry. We have formed a Communications Working Group with members to provide advice and test final products.
 
ICIN has supported and attended several key events over the past couple of months to support better engagement of Indigenous organisations in discussions about the carbon market as well as several internal workshops about carbon ‘co-benefit’ markets. A highlight for me was attending and presenting an overview of the Indigenous carbon industry at the AIATSIS Summit on Kaurna country in Adelaide alongside the SA Native Title Service, APN Cape York, Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation Foundation and the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.

Preparations are underway for the 2022 North Australian Savanna Fire Forum, to be held in Darwin on 15-16 February. Details will be announced later in the week.
 
ICIN is now in the final stages of formalising its structure with members and Directors informed by advice from the Terri Janke and Co legal team. Details of the launch of ICIN Ltd will be announced very soon. Watch this space!
 
Policy Update
 
There have been significant changes in the policy space, as governments pivot to support a zero carbon emissions economy. This has brought about some positive changes for the Indigenous carbon industry, as a result of advocacy by ICIN and supporters of savanna fire management. These include new Savanna Fire Management methods in 2022 which, as announced by Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor last month, will include the latest science on new carbon pools and are likely to expand eligibility to include Pindan vegetation and lower rainfall areas in line with the latest available science. 

We have been working with the Clean Energy Regulator and the Carbon Market Institute to support better engagement of Indigenous organisations with an interest in carbon markets.

I continue to participate in the Methods Advisory Panel appointed by the CER, which has addressed issues related to the development of new Plantation methods as well as the Blue Carbon (Tidal Restoration) methods, which have just been released for public review. ICIN facilitated a workshop last week with the CER and Indigenous organisations from around Australia to find out more (see below).
 
A controversial new method that will enable large emitters to claim Australian Carbon Credit Units for Carbon Capture and Storage, which involves capturing and storing greenhouse gas pollution underground, was also released by Minister Taylor last week. This development highlights the need for Indigenous ACCUs to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, in recognition of the multiple additional benefits Indigenous carbon projects deliver.
 
ICIN has recently been appointed to the National Soil Strategy Implementation Strategy Committee, the NSW Natural Capital Working Group and the NT Gamba Weeds Advisory Group.
 
ICIN is very concerned by a proposed Safeguard Crediting Mechanism policy which would essentially enable large emitters to claim and then trade a different type of credit if they were polluting below the Safeguard Mechanism baseline. We have written to the Australian Government calling for a strengthening of the Safeguard Mechanism by lowering its significantly high caps as a compliance measure rather than initiating a new and likely low value credit system.
 
At the same time, the NT Government has announced a Large Emitters policy with very large caps on pollution (100,000 tons pa for industry and a whopping 500,000 tons from land clearing). Separate from this development, the NT Offsets Policy were released for public comment. We worked with members in the NT to finalise our position after a meeting with the NT Government Environmental Policy Office (see below). We remain very concerned by the enormous triggers embedded in the Large Emitters policy, which would not capture even high intensity emitters and large land clearing applications.
 
The QLD Government opened Round 2 of the Land Restoration Fund for applications along with a $10,000 grant towards the provision of independent advice to support a new carbon project. Applications to Round 2 have now closed and we await the results with anticipation.
 
The WA Government closed applications to its carbon program, which applies to south-west WA only. It also announced a ban on land clearing which is a positive development for the climate.
 
School Strike for the Climate events were held around Australia in the lead up to the Glasgow Climate Talks to support young people to call for more action on climate change. I attended the Darwin event last Friday with my two young children. I note the Business Council of Australia recently committed to supporting stronger targets (50% by 2030) to cut Australia’s emissions. Today ICIN has responded to the Australian Government's new commitment to Net-Zero Emissions Economy by 2050. I hope the next time I write to you Australia will have far more ambitious targets for reducing its greenhouse gas pollution.

Kind regards,

Anna Boustead, Coordinator
Latest Indigenous Carbon Industry News

Pictured above: Mimal Women Rangers use early dry season burning to manage their country and prevent hot fires that release large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

Our Response to Australia's Net-Zero Target Plan


The Indigenous Carbon Industry Network welcome a strengthening of Australia’s position on climate change and urge the Prime Minister and Minister Angus Taylor to be more ambitious in driving reductions in Australia’s greenhouse gas emission through compliance mechanisms that generate real and immediate cuts to pollution as well as recognise the substantial contribution of Indigenous people to climate action in Australia.

ICIN encourages the government to direct investments aimed at supporting Australia’s climate change response toward supporting Indigenous land and sea management activities that not only abate emissions, and store carbon, but also protect against the very impacts of climate change that we already experience – hotter fires, loss of biodiversity, loss of cultural sites and libraries, sea level rise and extreme weather events. 
Read Article Here

New Blue Carbon Method Released For Review


A Draft of the new Blue Carbon Method has been released by the Australian Government for review.

The Australian Government is inviting input on a draft blue carbon method for the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). The ERF incentivises Australian businesses to cut greenhouse gases and undertake activities that store carbon. This is the first ERF method for blue carbon projects.

Blue carbon is the storage of organic carbon in coastal wetland and marine ecosystems.
A blue carbon project achieves abatement by reintroducing tidal flows to:

  • increase the carbon stored in soil and vegetation
  • avoid emissions from soils as they are rewetted, or as freshwater wetlands are returned to saline wetlands.

Blue carbon is one of 5 priority methods being developed in 2021.

Submissions are welcome until 10 November 2021.
 

Read Article Here

Minister prioritises new Savanna Fire Management methods for 2022


On the 1st of October, Minister Angus Taylor MP announced that he has agreed to prioritise developing new Savanna Fire Management methods in 2022, by building on the existing methods with updated carbon accounting and expanding the carbon pools and vegetation types covered such as Pindan.  This was a key recommendation of ICIN’s submission to the method prioritisation process.
 
Read More

2022 Strong Women for Healthy Country Forum


Dates for the 2022 Strong Women for Healthy Country Forum have been announced.

Next year's forum will be held at Ross River Resort (on Eastern Arrente Country) between 20 - 22 September 2022.

This year's forum was held in May at Banartjarl Outstation and was hosted by Mimal Land Management and Jawoyn Association. Around 300 Indigenous women from across the Northern Territory and beyond, gathered to share their knowledges, experiences, and to design a future ongoing network that seeks to provide support for Indigenous women and their role in caring for country.
 
Find Out More

CMI Carbon Farming Forum

The Carbon Market Institute hosted its 5th Carbon Farming Industry Forum last month. The Carbon Farming Industry Forum provides an opportunity The forum was held over two days between September 10 & 17.

ICIN had the opportunity to support several representatives from ICIN member organisations (including Suzanne Thompson, CEO YACHATDAC, pictured) were included as speakers and panellists in many of the plenary sessions and workshops which were held across the two days.
 

Read more about the Forum

NT Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offsets Policy

In September, the Northern Territory Government called for public submissions in response to the release of its proposed draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offsets Policy.  This policy forms part of a suite of initiatives that the Government is introducing in response to pressure to commit to a 2050 net zero emissions economy target.

Following consultation with Northern Territory based members and a briefing with the NT Government's Environmental Policy office, ICIN was shocked to learn that a Large Emitters policy linked to the Draft Offsets Policy was already in force, with very high caps on pollution for new developments. ICIN made a formal submission in response to the draft Policy; expressing a number of concerns, highlighted below. 

Read Submission Here

100th millionth Australian Carbon Credit Unit issued to Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation


On the 6th of September, the Federal Energy Minister, the Hon. Angus Taylor MP, announced that the Emissions Reduction Fund had issued its 100 millionth Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) to Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation.

This is a great recognition of the Wilinggin Fire Project, which is managed by the Ngarinyin people of the Kimberley, and a great recognition of the contribution of both Savanna burning, and Indigenous Land Management to Australia's carbon industry.

Quote from Mr Arnold Sahanna, Chairperson of Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation
“The Wilinggin savanna fire program has been core to Ngarinyin people being able to speak up for Country, to build a strong Corporation and to look after Country and culture. To do this while helping the climate and reducing carbon emissions is even better. It's wonderful to be the project that takes ACCUs issued over this huge milestone of 100 million!” 
Read More

Recognition of Indigenous Rights and interests in new industry code


The Indigenous Carbon Industry Network (ICIN) welcomes the release of the Carbon Market Institute’s Code of Conduct, which aims to support best practices in the carbon industry.

In response to clear advice from ICIN members regarding its reference to native title rights, the Carbon Market Institute has decided to include the ICIN Best Practice Guidelines on Seeking Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from Indigenous communities for Carbon Projects within the Code of Conduct.
 
Read more about the Code of Conduct

Queensland Government announces new resources available to support indigenous land and sea managers


In June, the Queensland Government launched both the Land Restoration Fund Round 2 and the Queensland Natural Capital Fund.

The launch of both these funds provides significant opportunities for Indigenous groups in Queensland to develop their land and sea management programs through corporate and government markets for carbon and ‘natural capital’.

The Queensland Government's announcement also shows recognition of the value of Indigenous-led land and sea management projects and helps to support new opportunities for Queensland-based Indigenous groups to undertake land and sea management projects.
 
Read more

Indigenous Savanna Fire Management features on Advancing Australia


Dr Otto Campion, a Senior Gurruwilling Ranger with the Arafura Swamp Rangers (pictured, above), and Dr. Kamaljit Sangha from the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research at Charles Darwin University were featured on a recent episode of Advancing Australia.

Advancing Australia is a twelve-part series, hosted by Golden Globe-winning actor, Guy Pearce, which puts a spotlight on people who are at the forefront of major national issues and tells of the innovative ways they are achieving change and inspiring others to do the same.
 
Read More

ICIN Presents to the 2021 AIATSIS Summit

ICIN Coordinator, Anna Boustead presented an overview of the Indigenous carbon industry as part of a panel at the AIATSIS Summit supported by the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation as part of the "Carbon Farming - How Can Indigenous Groups Benefit?

The panel also featured Partnerships Manager of APN Cape York, Melissa Sinclair; CEO of SA Native Title Service Keith Thomas; Dominic McGann of McCullough Robertson Lawyers and CEO of Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Alison Sentance.

 The Summit was held between 31 May and 4 June, 2021 on Kaurna country at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The AIATSIS Summit comprised of both the National Indigenous Research Conference, and the National Native Title Conference, and the theme of the summit was ‘Footprints for the future - Tracking our journey together.’
 
Read More
Indigenous Carbon in the Media
Media articles clockwise from top:
  • New carbon industry code is a step in the right direction - Koori Mail Article (August)
  • Credits where they're due - RM William’s Outback Magazine (August)
  • New carbon farming Code recognises native title rights - Aboriginal Way (August)
Upcoming Events

Territory NRM Conference 2021


16 - 18 November 2021, Darwin

The 2021 Territory Natural Resource Management Conference will be held in Darwin, Northern Territory between 16 - 18 November. 

For more information about the 2021 Territory NRM Conference, and for details on how to register your attendance, please click the button below!
 
Territory NRM Conference Information

Ecological Society of Australia Conference


Monday 22 November – Friday 26 November 2021, Online.

The 61st annual Ecological Society of Australia Conference will be held between 22 - 26 November 2021. Due to COVID restrictions, the conference will be held online.

For more information, including a conference program and details on how to register to attend, please click the button below!
 
ESA2021 Conference Information

Cape York Fire Forum


7 - 9 December 2021, Cairns

This year's Cape York Fire Forum (hosted by Cape York NRM), will be held between 7 - 9 December 2021 at the Cairns Colonial Club in Cairns, Queensland.

Registrations are closing soon. For more information and for details on how to register your attendance, please click the button below!
 
2021 Cape York Fire Forum Information
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Indigenous Carbon Industry Network
www.icin.org.au
 
We wish to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands ICIN operates on all around Australia and acknowledge that Indigenous people have never ceded sovereignty of their lands.

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