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.
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.
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.