The Department of the Environment has released their priority activities for method development for 2015-16. How is it looking for Aboriginal land?
Not too bad.
At the moment, most Aboriginal projects have come from savanna burning, but reforestation projects are on the move. With the new suite of activities prioritised for the next year, there are likely to be further opportunities on Aboriginal land.
First, there is savanna sequestration. This would extend savanna burning from an emissions reduction project to a sequestration project as well. Current research on the Tiwi Islands is well advanced on the debris carbon pool, but further research could cover biomass and soil carbon as well. The first savanna sequestration method is likely not too far away.
Also prioritised under vegetation, is rehabilitation of woodlands. This is likely to involve management of grazing in these areas. Work has been continuing for some time but it is good to see this activity on the priority list.
Lastly under vegetation is mangroves. Mangroves have long been held up as a prospective 'blue carbon' method because of the high potential for carbon sequestration, mainly underground. An issue though, may be keeping up with rising seas putting pressure on coastal mangroves.
All of the these activities could provide opportunities for Aboriginal landholders. There are also energy efficiency activities on the priority list but we hope that these additions to the vegetation suite will have their day. We will be tracking progress over the next year.