Aboriginal Carbon Fund contribute to the Queensland Carbon Farming Industry Summit - Brisbane August 2017

The Aboriginal Carbon Fund (AbCF) team made a positive contribution at the Queensland Carbon Farming Industry Summit in Brisbane on a number of levels.

Firstly, Barry Hunter co-chaired the Indigenous Carbon/ Savanna Burning forum and presented the outcomes back to the Summit. I believe it was the first time many industry people had the opportunity to hear  directly from a Traditional Owner about their own industry. Barry spoke informatively drawing on his experience over the last 25 years in land management and knowledge of Far North Queensland.

Aboriginal Carbon Fund Regional Manager Barry Hunter speaking at the Carbon Farming Industry Summit in Brisbane. (Photo: Lauren Bowyer)

Aboriginal Carbon Fund Regional Manager Barry Hunter speaking at the Carbon Farming Industry Summit in Brisbane. (Photo: Lauren Bowyer)

Secondly, the Aboriginal Carbon Farming Core-Benefits Verification Framework draft was released at the Summit, and workshopped the day before with Northern Territory and South Australia government delegates taking a keen interest.

The Indigenous-to-Indigenous strategy built into the Verification Framework is a concept whose time has come and will enable Aboriginal rangers and Traditional Owners to more fully steer their projects and industry on their country.

Barry co-chairing the Indigenous Carbon/Savanna Burning breakout session

Barry co-chairing the Indigenous Carbon/Savanna Burning breakout session

Thirdly, the concept of core-benefits being a main driver of carbon project rather than simply selling carbon credits is starting to make progress. The name change from ‘co-benefits’ to ‘core-benefits’ is reinforcing this concept in the carbon industry.  It was acknowledged the voluntary market for carbon credits with verified core-benefits is small but growing.

The concept of a ‘reef credit’ was presented by James Schultz from Green Collar, and this was expanded on by the concept of introducing a ‘Queensland Carbon Credit Unit’ by Rowan Foley. A QCCU is an ACCU + verified core-benefit from Queensland. By building on the existing Commonwealth system and adding a Queensland payment for eco-system service that can be measured, then it is envisaged sound investment in regional and rural Queensland can be enabled.

In the last session Rowan Foley congratulated the Queensland Government for hosting the summit, and reiterated the carbon industry development work being undertaken by the AbCF is attracting a keen interest from First Nations in British Colombia and throughout Canada. We can all be proud of our carbon farming industry in Australia collectively.

Media Release - Aboriginal Carbon Fund

Indigenous Australians and Canadians working together to reduce carbon and build communities

The Aboriginal Carbon Fund is proud to announce it has signed a formal Indigenous-to-Indigenous Agreement with the First Nations Energy and Mining Council in British Columbia, Canada, to share information on reducing carbon emissions and helping build communities. 

Rowan Foley, General Manager of the Aboriginal Carbon Fund, a national not-for-profit organisation that supports Traditional Owners to build wealth through the trade of carbon credits, said:

“Canada’s First Nations Energy and Mining Council is seeking to establish their own Indigenous Climate Fund modelled on our work in Australia.

“The Aboriginal Carbon Fund is encouraging corporate partners to offset their carbon footprint by buying carbon credits from Indigenous Australians, who are managing their land to reduce carbon, largely through early dry season savanna burning. An investment fund is being established to streamline the buying and selling of Aboriginal carbon credits. 

“We’re also working to train up more Indigenous rangers so they are qualified in carbon farming which will support the industry on Aboriginal lands.  

“Sustainable Indigenous land management, such as savannah burning, not only reduces carbon emissions but also builds communities by offering meaningful jobs for local Traditional Owners as rangers and an independent income.

“There are similarities between Indigenous land management programs in Queensland and in British Columbia so we have a lot to learn from each other in meeting our shared goals of supporting Aboriginal communities through jobs and enabling investment in the management of Aboriginal lands.

“Our Indigenous to Indigenous agreement also encourages our governments to work more closely together on how to support climate action and Indigenous employment,” Mr Foley said.

Mr Foley travelled to British Columbia to develop the agreement and to share knowledge with British Columbia’s First Nations Energy and Mining Council, which supports the development of climate, energy and mineral resources in ways that protect and sustain the environment forever while enhancing the social, cultural, economic and political well-being of First Nations in British Columbia.

Full agreement can be found at http://aboriginalcarbonfund.com.au/indigenous-to-indigenous-agreement/ 

Contact – 0419 588 430

Indigenous to Indigenous Strategy - AbCF to British Columbia

A chance meeting at the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015 with Shawn Burns, led to visiting Vancouver where I signed the Indigenous to Indigenous Climate Cooperation Agreement with the First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNEMC) in British Columbia June 2017. 

Photo courtesy of Rowan Foley

Photo courtesy of Rowan Foley

It was great to meet with Dave Porter Chair of the FNEMC as well as the members of the civil society. The BC provincial elections had just been held and there was a hung Parliament. The centre-left New Democratic Party (NDP) has since taken office with support of the BC Greens. 

The First Nations are seeking to establish their own Indigenous Climate Fund modelled on the work of AbCF in Australia. This is a somewhat unforeseen and a positive step forward for Indigenous peoples, investment in Indigenous lands and addressing climate change. The AbCF model can be replicated, with minor changes, to serve the needs of local Indigenous people internationally. 

Photo courtesy of Rowan Foley

Photo courtesy of Rowan Foley

It feels like the idea is coming of age. The concept of directly investing in the management of Aboriginal lands and people whilst tackling climate change is now possible. Non-Indigenous people, corporations and government agencies can make a positive contribution through buying Aboriginal carbon credits in Australia and hopefully soon in Canada. 

Once the social, cultural, environmental and economic core benefits are verified through an Indigenous-to-Indigenous strategy, then the outcomes of the investment can be clearly identified. 

Photo courtesy of Rowan Foley.

Photo courtesy of Rowan Foley.

The Indigenous-to-Indigenous strategy is a community development strategy supported by a raft of well-established principles and tools. The tools are handed over to Aboriginal rangers to implement with the whitefellas staying in Canberra or Ottawa as the case may be. The next step may be either South America and/or North America depending on how Indigenous people want to be involved. 

Sometimes chance meetings are a form of karma or synchronicity at play.  

Sharing savanna

Australia has made a cracking start at measuring savanna fire emissions and converting this into projects. For Indigenous people, there are already 23 projects which have locked in about $80 million in value. So we are taking this leading technology to the world right?