Nyaliga Aboriginal Corporation represents the Traditional Owners of the land known today as the Karunjie and Durack River Pastoral Stations in the East Kimberley of Western Australia. It is governed by a Board of Directors working to set up the Corporation and the community for a bright future for the next generation. As of 2020, the Nyaliga Ranger team has been established formally to look after our country, including through good fire management.
In 2017, the Nyaliga Fire Project was registered by Nyaliga Aboriginal Corporation as a registered savanna burning carbon project. The project involves controlled early dry season burning – aerial and on-ground – carried out by Nyaliga Traditional Owners, including the Nyaliga indigenous ranger team. Burning operations are carried out in line with traditional indigenous knowledge and practice, but utilising modern technologies, including satellite sensing / mapping and aerial incendiary drops with helicopters. Operations are aimed at creating a patchwork of cool season burns as firebreaks, limiting destructive late season wildfires and associated greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring protection of biodiversity and cultural sites. Nyaliga Traditional Owners are trained and employed to carry out burning on-country, and revenue generated from the sale of carbon credits is reinvested into ongoing fire management to ensure the sustainability of the project and the co-benefits it delivers.
The Nyaliga Fire Project proved the catalyst to improved governance of Nyaliga Aboriginal Corporation and forms a crucial aspect of the work done by the Nyaliga Rangers. Supported by a range of partners, Nyaliga now have a team of six looking after country and being trained in fire operations to carry out the Project. Fire management outcomes are not limited to carbon abatement – operations are in fact targeted at limiting late-season wildfire to ensure the protection of life, infrastructure, cultural places and habitat for important species, facilitating access and connection to country for Traditional Owners and their children and grandchildren, allowing for the transfer of traditional knowledge and skills to the next generation, and providing economic opportunities through training and employment. The sale of carbon credits from the project will constitute the first income for Nyaliga Aboriginal Corporation, with all revenue re-invested into fire management and the social, cultural and economic benefits it entails for our community.
The Nyaliga Fire Project is supported by the Kimberley Land Council for fire and carbon operations, Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation and the Wanjina-Wunggurr (Native Title) Aboriginal Corporation (RNTBC), as well as Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation as the current leaseholder.