The second annual Savanna Fire Forum was held in Darwin at Charles Darwin University on 13 and 14 February 2019. The Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation partly funded and provided logistical help for this second annual Forum through its Savanna Fire Management Program (SFM Program), a Darwin-based part of the ILSC’s Carbon and Environment Section. The Savanna Fire Management Program provides support for Indigenous Ranger groups in the Northern Territory to improve their management of fire and to engage in the carbon emissions reduction market. By reducing carbon emissions on Indigenous Estates, Ranger groups are able to earn extra money to support their important work via the carbon economy.
At right: Donald Shadforth and Ed Slade present on behalf of the Waanyi Garawa Rangers Savanna Fire Forum Charles Darwin University Feb 2019.
Savanna carbon abatement projects across Indigenous lands of the north cover in excess of 8 million hectares and generate over ten million dollars per annum, whilst delivering improved land management, employment and training outcomes, and facilitating the return of cultural fire practices for Indigenous communities. The ILSC is a key player in the development of this industry, including through managing Fish River Station, the first savanna carbon project in Australia to earn carbon credits, ongoing collaboration to support the scientific research that underpins the credit generation methodologies, operating carbon projects on Merepah Station and Karunjie-Durack Station and the SFM Program.
Representatives of all of the projects currently funded through the SFM Program attended the forum, including Jawoyn, Tiwi Rangers, Northern Land Council, NT Parks and Wildlife, Waanyi Garawa Rangers and Thamarrurr Rangers. Over 60 Indigenous rangers attended the forum and many presented on their projects. Rangers involved in Savanna Fire Management Program were able to learn from leading industry experts and peers over the two-day event. By understanding the best-practice management of savanna landscapes participants in the Savanna Fire Management Program are able to ensure great outcomes from land management activities including biodiversity conservation, cultural and socioeconomic benefits.
One of the experts facilitating at the forum was ILSC’s Senior Carbon Coordinator, Marnie Telfer, based in the Adelaide office. Marnie drew on her expertise in the science and administration of carbon projects to facilitate a panel session at the forum that discussed some of the technical and scientific challenges being tackled by the carbon industry in the north.