Savannah burning project update

The Olkola project is now under way. Josh Harris and Isaac West from the Natural Carbon team met last week with the Olkola Corporation Board and Rangers to discuss implementation of the project.

Large-scale savannah burning project on Cape York signed

Today Natural Carbon, a carbon farming service provider, Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council and Olkola Aboriginal Corporation announce their agreement to conduct savannah burning on their 13 000 square kilometres in Cape York to comply with the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming initiative. This will involve implementing traditional burning practices on the country.

The savannah burning carbon farming activity involves Aboriginal traditional owners burning early in the dry season in planned mosaics across the country. This has the effect of preventing the large wildfires late in the dry season, which have become a regular feature of recent decades. The difference will be the amount of green house gases given off by the traditional mosaic burning compared to the far more frequent and substantial gases given off by wildfire. This difference is what can be traded under the Federal Government legislation.

Mr Edward Natera, CEO, Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council said “This is a really exciting opportunity for our community to secure ongoing funding for our homeland outstations and create a long term economic opportunity for employment, when few are available in indigenous communities in remote areas.”

Michael Ross, Chairman, Olkola Aboriginal Corporation said “Establishing a carbon business is a major step forward for the Olkola people. It’s opening a door for our younger generation to work on country with their elders and strengthening our traditional law and culture. Working with our neighbours to manage fire, one of the major threats on Olkola country and Cape York is moving in the right direction.”

Phillip Toyne, a director of Natural Carbon, said “It is a great pleasure for our company to be able to initiate the first large scale carbon farming projects on Cape York with traditional owners. We see many benefits in Greenhouse Gas reduction, biodiversity protection and reinforcement of traditional culture flowing from these projects, which should be apparent over many years that the savannah burning activity can be conducted. We are excited at the prospect of working closely with each community, with them providing on the ground ranger burning programs and Natural Carbon helping with regulatory compliance and with the sale of the carbon credits. This represents an exciting development in North Queensland and can be replicated in many other parts of the Cape.”

The intention is to start burning activities in the period to 30 June and planning for this is already well underway. Appropriate savannah burning for carbon will become an annual activity through this joint venture.

About Natural Carbon

Established in 2014, Natural Carbon Pty Ltd is a joint venture of EcoFutures, Climate Friendly, South Pole Carbon, McCullough Robertson and Object Consulting. Natural Carbon brings together global experience and expertise across the full carbon project cycle – from concept to sales, providing a one stop shop for entities seeking to generate alternative revenue streams in a climate friendly way. The company works with indigenous groups, farmers, and other land managers to achieve long-term economic and environmental benefits to their communities. Natural Carbon also works with leading organisations ready to reduce their environmental impact.


PHOTO: Olkola and Pormpuraaw traditional owners sign their respective contracts with Natural Carbon

Click on the link below to listen to the ABC Far North Queensland interview on the announcement.

Related documents

Carbon Seminar – Thursday 31 July 2014

Australia’s climate change policy is in a state of flux with the Federal Government keen for the carbon tax to make way for its Direct Action Policy. While repeal of the carbon tax appears imminent, the introduction of direct action and the Government’s much touted Emissions Reduction Fund has met resistance from a number of sources, including those holding the balance of power in the newly formed senate.

This means there is considerable uncertainty over the future carbon price. For those in the resource sector, agribusiness or significant landholders, there is undoubtedly hesitance over whether to invest in the opportunities to be rewarded for carbon abatement activities, either through more energy efficient methods of doing business, or generating carbon credits on their land under the Carbon Farming Initiative.

McCullough Robertson is pleased to present an update on Australia’s carbon policy and what may lie ahead for those looking to benefit from the policy changes, new methodologies or are simply concerned to avoid carbon liability.

Special guests:

  • Freddy Sharpe and Josh Harris from Climate Friendly
  • Peter Richardson from Object Consulting
  • Christian Dannecker from South Pole Carbon

will join Partner Isaac West and General Counsel Phillip Toyne to provide an overview of:

  • the political landscape and how that is affecting carbon policy
  • what are the Government’s carbon plans and how will its policy work
  • are there still opportunities in carbon farming and will there be a market for carbon credits, and
  • what is happening internationally and how does that affect Australia.

More information about the guest speakers.

Date: Thursday 31 July 2014
Time: 7.45am for 8.00am – 9.00am
Venue: McCullough Robertson, Level 16, 55 Hunter Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: No charge
RSVP: Wednesday 23 July 2014
CPD: 1 CPD point is available for this seminar
Enquiries: Donna White on 1300 MCR 888 (1300 627 888)


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