Indigenous groups from around Australia will come together to hear the latest on the carbon industry at the first-ever National Indigenous Carbon Forum being held this Wednesday February 16.
The inaugural online forum will feature presentations from across the industry, from Indigenous rangers and land managers to scientists, policymakers and market specialists. The network co-chair Cissy Gore-Birch said a national forum has been a long-held dream of Indigenous land owners and managers from the north.
“As traditional owners we’ve been driving recognition of Indigenous rights and interests in carbon and developing opportunities for Aboriginal people to actively manage their country for many years,” Ms Gore-Birch said.
“Indigenous-owned carbon projects across northern Australia are making a huge difference to our lives through creating jobs and supporting opportunities for Indigenous people to care for country. We want to give Indigenous groups interested in becoming involved in the carbon industry the chance to meet with those already working in this space - so we can all share stories, information and experiences.”
There are currently 35 Indigenous-owned savanna fire management projects, as well as several Indigenous-owned human-induced regeneration carbon projects registered in Australia through the Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund.
Ms Gore-Birch said it’s an important achievement, but there’s room for growth to enable more First Nations people to benefit from these opportunities.
“It’s time for First Nations people to come together, to understand more about opportunities in the carbon industry, particularly around their rights and interests,” Ms Gore-Birch said.
As another mark of development in the market, the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network (ICIN) will relaunch on Wednesday as Australia’s first independent Indigenous peak body in the sector.
Ms Gore-Birch said the network aims to provide a voice for the Indigenous carbon industry and to enable more groups to gain a seat at the table of important industry and policy discussions.
“Dozens of Indigenous organisations with carbon projects across Australia have been working together over many years to form this network,” Ms Gore-Birch said. Our next step was to become a fully independent entity and this week we celebrate this achievement during the national forum.
“It’s great to see the carbon industry growing so quickly and we want to make sure that Balanda (non-Indigenous people) don’t leave us behind.
“In particular, I would like to acknowledge Warddeken Land Management for the support it has provided in hosting ICIN, and thank its chair Dean Yibarbuk, who will continue as co-chair ICIN.
The national forum will be preceded by the North Australian Savanna Fire Forum tomorrow Tuesday February 15, which will include annual reports from Indigenous ranger groups, scientists and agencies from across the Kimberley, Top End and Cape York.
Both Tuesday's and Wednesday’s forums have been moved online to avoid the spread of coronavirus, particularly in remote communities.
The first Aboriginal woman to be elected to Federal Parliament and Olympian Nova Peris said she's thrilled to host the two online forums.
“As a proud descendant of the Kimberley and Western Arnhem Land regions, I’ve seen first-hand my family’s work and the other incredible Aboriginal Rangers that carry out fundamental work on country,” Ms Peris said.
“Bringing everyone together to discuss and share knowledge is imperative to future generations from both an environmental standpoint and inherited cultural obligations.”
North Australian Savanna Fire Forum, Tuesday February 15, 2022
For more information or to register for the two-day event visit: www.savannafireforum.net