May 2021

Network Update

Report from the Coordinator

After a difficult year for many in 2020, the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network has well and truly hit the ground running in 2021.

Indigenous ranger groups across north Australia have completed their pre-fire season planning meetings and early dry season burning is now underway across much of the Kimberley and NT Top End regions. The recent late wet season deluge across Cape York has delayed the start of the burning season, giving fire managers in those regions some reprieve.

It was a privilege to meet with groups from across Arnhem Land at the ALFA NT meeting hosted by the Bawinanga rangers in Maningrida last month and hear how fire management knowledge and experience is being shared across nine ranger groups.

The Map below produced by the NAFI team shows how, despite the COVID crisis, the rangers hard work to look after country during 2020 was very successful in reducing damaging widespread and hot savanna fires across north Australia.

I am very excited to announce that joining me in supporting members is Ben Gertz, who has now come on board as ICIN’s new Communications Officer. Ben has substantial experience in web management, social media and event facilitation. Ben has already extended our capacity to support and update the network’s communications platforms and he is looking forward to working with you to promote and support the Indigenous carbon industry.

I am pleased to advise that as well as his role on the Steering Committee, Willie Rioli of Tiwi Resources has taken on the role of ICIN Governance Advisor/Mentor, supporting me to coordinate the governance consultation process with members, facilitated by Terri Janke lawyers.

All members received a statement from the Steering Committee last month with an update on this process. ICIN member organisations have been meeting with the ICIN team to review the draft Constitution for the new ICIN company.

The ICIN team travelled across the north during April and May to support our governance review. After a year of lockdowns, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the opportunities and challenges faced by Indigenous savanna projects as well as support input into the design of the ICIN Ltd company. The Steering Committee expects to be able to make an announcement about the results of these consultations next month.

As the dry season continues, there are several key events coming up in June. I look forward to connecting with you during this very busy time for the Indigenous carbon industry. It is a great privilege to be able to meet face-to-face!

Kind regards,

Anna Boustead 
Analysis by the North Australian Fire Information service shows that 2020 was generally a good year for preventing hot late dry season fires. 
Latest Indigenous Carbon Industry News 

ICIN Roadshow Highlights

Pictured below: Arnhem Land Fire Abatement (ALFA) Pre-Fire Season Meeting at Maningrida, NT; Representatives from Kimberley Land Council, Wilinggin AC, Wunambal Gaambera AC, Walalakoo AC and Dambimangari AC gather in Derby to inform consultations on the Constitution of ICIN Ltd: Northern Territory members meet in Darwin, NT: ICIN team meet with APN Cape York; and Batavia Traditional Owners in Cairns to seek feedback on the ICIN Ltd Constitution.

2021 Savanna Fire Forum Videos Now Available

With thanks to assistance from the Event Working Group as well as sponsor The Nature Conservancy, the ICIN hosted the 2021 North Australia Savanna Fire Forum online via Zoom from 9 -11 February.

Led by our guest MC, Olympian and former Senator Nova Peris OAM, around 200 people gathered online over three days across Australia to listen to over 50 presenters speak about savanna fire management and the Indigenous carbon industry. Video recordings from across the three days of the forum are now available online via our website. 

A huge thanks to Polly Grace and Lenka Vanderboom in particular who provided much needed advice and support behind the scenes.
Access the 2021 Savanna Fire Forum Videos

2021 Savanna Fire Forum Highlights 

Pictured below: Trent Lee welcomes participants joining virtually across the country to Larrakia country; Nova Peris AO introduces the 2021 Savanna Fire Forum; The Bureau of Meteorology and NAFI team provide an update about the 2020 fire season; Dambimangari rangers present to the forum from the Kimberley studio on Yawuru country; ICIN Coordinator Anna Boustead wraps up the 2020 forum.

Latest Industry Snapshot

Carbon price on the rise

The government's Clean Energy Regulator has  released the results of the April Auction of the Emissions Reduction Fund, which shows that the average price for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) has increased to $15.99. Again, no savanna burning projects were contracted as part of this latest auction, which may reflect the rapidly rising price on the voluntary market. 

According to Commbank, the standard ACCU spot price is rapidly on the rise, now up to $18.50 for standard ACCUs.

Indigenous carbon credits remain highly sought after on the voluntary market and attract a significant premium price for the multiple benefits they deliver to the environment and communities, well above average market price.

Latest Industry Snapshot

Policy changes place method development in the hands of the Regulator

There has been significant policy shifts in the carbon industry over the past few months as Clean Energy Regulator (CER) takes on the role of method development, with a mandate to develop new methods within 12 months.

ICIN Coordinator Anna Boustead was appointed to its Method Advisory Panel in November. The Panel has so far considered the co-design timeline, as well as considered issues relevant to the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) methods, Soil Carbon methods and Blue Carbon (tidal restoration) method. ICIN looks forward to building on its good relationship with the CER to ensure that methods and policies are well informed by its members.

Unfortunately the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, did not include savanna burning methods on his list of priorities for method development for 2021.

ICIN wrote to Minister Taylor to express its disappointment given that members have highlighted several opportunities to improve and extend the current methods to remove barriers to take up of the sequestration method, and potentially account for carbon below the 600mm rainfall line, Pindan vegetation type as well as the living biomass, which is currently under development through the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research. We also highlighted the opportunity for these methods to generate significant social, environmental and cultural ‘co-benefits’, which are typically the drivers of these projects for Indigenous carbon producers and proponents.

The Minister has recently responded to say that there will be an opportunity to nominate methods for priority to the Government this year, and that this process would then be fast-tracked within 12 months as per the Government’s strategy of targeting resources to deliver prioritized methods through the CER within 12 months.

ICIN also welcomed the CER's recent announcement that it will develop an Australian carbon exchange to support sales of carbon credits on the voluntary and corporate market.

This tool will provide greater transparency around the value of carbon credits on these markets, in recognition of the growing demand for carbon credits on the voluntary and corporate market.

Indigenous carbon credits are highly sought after in these markets and fetch a significantly higher price in recognition of the many benefits they bring.
Read More about the Australian Carbon Exchange

Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Spotlight

The application of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Ecological Restoration through Carbon Projects was discussed by a panel of experts in the Indigenous carbon industry at the SERA conference in Darwin last week, including:

- Ricky Archer, CEO of NAILSMA
- Dr Otto Campion, Arafura Swamp Rangers and Anna Boustead of ICIN
- Parry Agius, Alison Sentance and Natasha Hunter of Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation Foundation
- Jonathan Green, Carbon Program Manager of ILSC
- Gillian Mayne, Director of the Land Restoration Fund, Queensland Government
- Hmalan Xenie-Hunter, Panel Facilitator
- Caroline Einig, Panel Coordinator

The Bengar Film crew was there to capture our presentation about the Indigenous carbon industry as part of a new documentary called Advancing Australia highlighting the success of Indigenous fire management and featuring Dr Otto Campion which will go to air on Channel 10 and 10play on June 5.
More about the Advancing Australia Documentary on 10play

Indigenous Fire practices feature in the Griffith Review

The return of Indigenous fire practices and cultural land management was one of the key highlights of the most recent edition, and many rangers from the Kimberley featured very prominently in showcasing their fire practices.

Not only do Indigenous fire practices help reduce some of the worsening effects of climate change, but as "Remaking the Balance" showcases, Indigenous fire practices also help to maintain strong cultural links to country.
  • Quandamooka Principal Ranger Jacob Martin
  • Outgoing CEO of Quandamooka Yoolaburrabee Aboriginal Corporation [QYAC] Cameron Costello
  • Chantelle Murray, Ranger coordinator for the Ngurrara Rangers at Fitzroy Crossing
  • Pete O’Connor, Ranger coach with the Dambimangari Aboriginal Rangers in the Kimberley
  • Strategic fire operations officer for the Kimberley Land Council Richard Whately
  • Kristina Koenig, program manager for carbon and enterprise development at the Kimberley Lands Council
  • The Indigenous Carbon Industry Network’s Anna Boustead
  • Fire Ecology Professor Jeremy Russell-Smith from Charles Darwin University in Darwin
Listen to the Podcast or Read the Transcript

Launch of Australian Bushfire Management Association

Many ICIN members have identified rising insurance premiums as a key barrier to supporting their savanna fire management programs.

A new association has formed to make it easier and cheaper for groups to access insurance coverage for their fire management programs.

ABMA commenced formation as a result of the 2019-2020 Black Summer fires through the coming together of like-minded private sector bushfire managers from right across Australia with a view to:
  • Provide leadership in private sector fire management;
  • Provide representation and services to local, state and federal governments and agencies; and
  • Provide an insurance platform for its members.
Visit the ABMA website

Strong Women for Healthy Country Forum

24 - 28 May, near Katherine

Registrations are now open for the upcoming Strong Women for Healthy Country 2021 Forum.

This forum is for Indigenous Women of the Northern Territory involved in Healthy Country. 
Find out more

AIATSIS 2021 Summit

31 May – 4 June, Adelaide

National Native Title Conference and Indigenous Research Conference
Reconciliation Week
Register Now

Carbon Market Institute 2021 Summit

24 – 25 June, Sydney

If you are a member of ICIN and wish to attend, please contact the ICIN Coordinator, Anna Boustead at
Find out more

NAIDOC Week – Heal Country!

4-11 July 2021, Australia-wide

Heal Country! – calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Get Involved

Ecological Society of Australia Conference

Sunday 21 November – Friday 26 November 2021, Darwin
Submit an Abstract
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Indigenous Carbon Industry Network
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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