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April Update from the Network

ICIN Board Meeting #11 Updates 

This month ICIN convened its 11th Board Meeting, providing an opportunity for Directors to exchange updates since last gathering in person in February. The comprehensive agenda delved into latest developments in the carbon space and possible implications for ICIN members, Director updates, staff member changes and progress reports on ongoing and new projects being managed by the team. 

ICIN Director updates included:

  • Teddy Bernard has been re-elected to Council and appointed Deputy Mayor of Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council. Congratulations Teddy! 
  • Dr Dean Yibarbuk has been appointed to the First Nations Clean Energy and Climate Change Committee, established by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) to advise the Minister and Department on First Nations perspectives on Clean Energy and Climate Change.
  • On behalf of ICIN, Suzanne Thompson presented at the Commonwealth Bank's recent sustainability conference Momentum, in the panel titled 'Carbon credits - Can Australia lead the world'. Watch the session here
  • On behalf of ICIN, Sarah Parriman, Deputy CEO KLC attended the CSIRO hosted DCCEEW workshop in Adelaide on ‘First Nations Ecological Knowledge Systems (EKS) mechanisms to inform the Nature Repair Market’. Presentations were made by NAILSMA, KLC, AbCF and Suzanne Thompson YACHATDAC at the two-day event to inform discussion around the co-design of the ESK mechanism. We look forward to the outcomes from this workshop and interaction with the carbon market space.

Staff update:

During the Board meeting, ICIN Co-Chairs Cissy Gore-Birch and Dr Dean Yibarbuk were delighted to welcome Shaun Ansell (pictured above, bottom right) to the role of Interim CEO, effective Monday 15th April. Shaun is taking on the role from Jann, who has stepped down due to personal reasons. Shaun brings considerable experience to the role, having been instrumental in establishing ICIN, as well as hosting the Network as the CEO of Warddeken Land Management. He has extensive experience in the carbon sector, with strong and positive working relationships across the ICIN membership. Shaun will steward ICIN in the Interim CEO role until Anna Boustead returns part-time from maternity leave in July 2024. Shaun can be contacted on [email protected] and 0417 989 577. The Board thanks Jann for her contributions, notably her strategic guidance of the Network, her successful management of several complex projects, and delivering the February 2024 North Australia Savanna Fire Forum (NASFF). The Board wishes Jann all the best.

Pictured above, ICIN Board: Teddy Bernard, Neville Gulay Gulay, Dr Dean Yibarbuk, Suzanne Thompson and Sarah Parriman with incoming Interim ICIN CEO Shaun Ansell.  

Navigating blue carbon: Supporting Indigenous groups to understand risks, challenges and opportunities  

ICIN is soon to launch the report 'Blue Carbon in Australia: Understanding the opportunity for Indigenous People. A background report providing information and mapping related to Indigenous participation in Blue Carbon projects' as part of the NESP Indigenous Engagement and Blue Carbon project led by Charles Darwin University (CDU) in collaboration with project partners, the North Australia Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) and ICIN.

The report, authored by Polly Grace and Jarrad Holmes, builds on the 2022 ICIN report 'Mapping the Opportunities for Indigenous Carbon in Australia. Identifying opportunities and barriers to Indigenous participation in the Emissions Reduction Fundwhich captured Indigenous rights & interests across Australia. This research finds that despite the success of Indigenous carbon projects in Northern Australia, carbon opportunities have remained relatively inaccessible to many Indigenous land holders.

While the 2022 report identified that Indigenous Peoples hold rights to undertake carbon projects across 55% of Australia’s land mass, over ¾ of this land does not have an applicable carbon method. This is a significant inequity that needs to be addressed. Blue carbon represents an exciting opportunity, but we need to ensure that opportunity is driven by and accessible to First Nations people.

By way of example, in the Territory, where approx. 80% of the coastline is held by Aboriginal people in a range of legal rights and interests extending to the low water mark, a thriving blue carbon industry will rely on First Nations leadership and collaboration, and proactive government policy which ensures existing and emerging ACCU Scheme methods are applicable to Indigenous lands.

This Project seeks to build knowledge and capacity among Indigenous groups around the opportunity and challenges posed by blue carbon, as well as develop principles and guidance to ensure blue carbon projects lead best-practice when it comes to Indigenous engagement.

The release of the Blue Carbon in Australia: Understanding the opportunity for Indigenous People, will mark a key step in the project before progressing to a two-way engagement workshop phase, developing understanding of the barriers, concerns and priorities for Indigenous groups as well as building knowledge and capacity among Indigenous people.

Carbon methods update

To ensure the Australian carbon industry is accessible to Indigenous people and delivers benefits to Indigenous communities, ICIN met with the DCCEEW Method team on the 27th March to talk through key priorities for Methods under the ACCU Scheme. ICIN will organise a Teams meeting during May to update all ICIN members on the status of the developing Savanna Fire Management and the Integrated Farm and Land Management Methods.

Top priorities for a thriving Indigenous carbon industry published in latest CMI report

CMI released their inaugural “Carbon Markets and Australia’s Net Zero Challenge” report, featuring a chapter by ICIN on top priorities crucial for a thriving Indigenous carbon industry. Delving into three key areas - ‘Culture and Country’, ‘Engagement and Partnerships’ and ‘Rights and Interests’ – the chapter outlines eleven priorities essential for maintaining the integrity of carbon projects held by Indigenous Peoples and securing the equitable expansion of the industry by and for Indigenous Peoples. ICIN thanks CMI for the invitation to contribute to this report, designed to inform stakeholders across media, business, government and beyond about carbon markets and climate change policy. We look forward to future opportunities to strengthen and promote best practice standards for Indigenous engagement and protect Indigenous rights in carbon. 

Presentations now up online: North Australia Savanna Fire Forum

Thank you again to the 75 speakers who shared their invaluable knowledge and expertise with the 450+ attendees at the February 2024 NASFF. While we were unable to record the event we’ve got the next best thing for you: the presentations are now live on our event webpage. Dive in, relive and explore the knowledge-packed sessions.

Kimberley Land Council (KLC) releases the first Kimberley Indigenous Women’s Ranger Strategy

More than 50 Kimberley women rangers contributed to the development of the KLC’s first Indigenous Women’s Ranger Strategy 2024-2034, identifying what they value and want to protect. This important document outlines KLC’s plan to grow a strong network of women ranger teams across the Kimberley. According to KLC Deputy CEO, and ICIN Director, Sarah Parriman, “Employment as a ranger can empower women and have transformative benefits for families, communities, Country and our women themselves. The KLC has always believed in the value of women rangers and continues to advocate strongly for increased opportunities for women working on Country.”

Jobs and events 

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