The traditional cultural and ecological practices used by Indigenous communities in Queensland to address climate change has been showcased at the Governor’s Climate and Forest Task Force Annual Meeting in California.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch, who is in the US for the meeting, said fire management techniques used by First Nations people, which have been used for thousands of years to protect savanna areas, drastically reduce emissions caused by grassland wildfires.
“While burning is used in land management to some extent across the world, Queensland’s Indigenous communities are world leaders in managing their own emissions reduction projects,” Ms Enoch said.
“Aside from environmental and economic benefits, savanna burning also creates jobs in remote communities, increases biodiversity, supports First Nations people on Country and improves food security and health.
“The Palaszczuk Government is working closely with Aboriginal communities to empower Traditional Owners to use their traditional knowledge to protect the environment and reduce emissions through savanna burning.
“While wildfires are predicted to increase with a changing climate, these savanna burning techniques are the way forward to mitigate risk.”
Ms Enoch said almost 40 Queensland savanna burning projects had already been established through the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, under which savanna burning can earn carbon credits.
“So far, these projects have abated 1.6 million tonnes of carbon, worth more than $19 million,” she said.
Ms Enoch added that through the Palaszczuk Government’s CarbonPlus Fund, core-benefit standards were being developed using an innovative ‘Indigenous to Indigenous’ verification framework to valuate and verify the cultural, social and environmental benefits generated through savanna burning.
“By empowering Traditional Owners to lead and manage their own carbon projects using traditional land-management practices, we’re creating a sustainable and valuable industry in Queensland.”
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch