The Indigenous Carbon Industry Network (ICIN) welcomes the results of the independent Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Review which have been accepted in full by Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen and thanks Prof Ian Chubb for the opportunity to input into the Review.
“The ICIN’s 25 member organisations have advocated for many of these changes for some time, in particular, that no carbon project should be allowed to be registered without the consent of Native Title holders,” said ICIN Co-Chair Cissy Gore-Birch.
“It is fantastic to see that the Australian Government is genuinely listening to Indigenous groups with significant experience in carbon farming. We welcome the outcomes of this review," Ms Gore-Birch said.
In a significant win for Indigenous groups across Australia, Minister Bowen has accepted the Panel’s recommendation to remove legislation providing for Conditional Registration of carbon projects and is supporting greater input by First Nations people into the carbon scheme.
"This represents a significant win for Indigenous people’s recognised rights in carbon," said ICIN Director and CEO of the Kimberley Land Council, Tyronne Garstone.
“In the carbon rush across Australia over the past few years many carbon projects have been registered quickly and without the consent of Native Title holders. The scrapping of Conditional Registration is consistent with the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent highlighted by guidelines published by ICIN.
“Given a carbon sequestration project can have a life of 100 years, there is room for this to extend the new Indigenous consent provisions through recognising Native Title claimants that may be impacted in future by current carbon projects,” he said.
The ICIN supports the decision to support proponent-led method development where there are checks and balances in place. It is hoped that this will enable more Indigenous-led carbon method design to account for the carbon benefits of Indigenous land and sea management activities.
The ICIN also supports the Minister’s decision to separate the functions of the Clean Energy Regulator from purchasing of ACCUs and method development. However, members are keen to ensure that the Government’s commitment to release the new Savanna Fire Management methods remains a priority and is not held up by the administrative restructure. The new methods have already undergone public consultation and are due for completion in early 2023.
“The new Savanna Fire Management methods offer transformational opportunities for Indigenous land and sea managers by measuring and accounting for the carbon stored in the living biomass and dead standing wood as a result of Indigenous fire management. Many Indigenous carbon projects across the Top End stand to benefit directly from these improvements in the science”, said Joe Martin-Jard, CEO of the Northern Land Council, which is a founding member of the ICIN.
“It would be a great shame if finalisation of the new methods were held up so close to being complete. This work is rigorous and has been a long time coming,” he said.
These issues and others impacting savanna fire management will be discussed at the annual North Australia Savanna Fire Forum to be hosted by the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network in Darwin from 21-22 February.
For further information visit www.savannafireforum.net.
Kaye Hall, ICIN Communications Manager
Email: [email protected]