Savanna Burning Projects and Carbon Credits

Aboriginal traditional Savanna (Fire) Burning practices were used by Traditional Land Owners to enhance pasture vigour, to control weeds, to provide habitat for native animals and to protect life and properties cause by wildfires at the same time maintaining the biodiversity of the land.  Balkanu provided support to Aboriginal clans and landowners to develop specific strategic fire management planning and implementation processes to improve fire management in their country at the same time we helped to establish working groups to participate in the Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI).   Balkanu facilitates sourcing of resources, project operational management, data-collection, mapping, analysis, reporting and financials, liaison of researchers and Government agencies, training, governance and registrations.

Balkanu assisted with the development of Fire Management Operation Plans that with long term delivery of the programs that would bring beneficial outcomes to for Aboriginal Land Owners, their country and their communities.  Key outcomes were delivery of training to improve capacity, coordinated activities and communication between different clan groups, effective relationships leading to more joint information sharing for more effective fire management practices, achievement of  targeted objectives, stronger community collaboration to address issues for sustainable fire management across varied landscapesIt is anticipated that such activities will reduce Greenhouse gas emissions and consequently generate carbon credits that can then be sold into the carbon market, thereby generating a revenue stream for land owners to manage their country properly.

In line with the Carbon Farming Initiative under Emissions Abatement through Savanna Fire Management, Balkanu assist Indigenous clan groups to register as participant for Emissions Reduction Fund offsets projects where Balkanu acts as project manager to successfully and progressively manage Indigenous Carbon Farming projects.  Our key focus is to assist with generation of revenue through carbon credits and our role include establishing of governance and contractual arrangements, developing business models, engaging Expert support services, data analysis and submission of reports, capacity building by training, provision of business development resources, adoption and retention of fire management methods based on Aboriginal Tradition Knowledge, consultation with the community and other Traditional Owner groups in the region.

In addition Balkanu has facilitated several Educational Workshops for Indigenous groups and Land Managers to share knowledge for capacity building in Indigenous fire and land management practices. These workshops have been beneficial to Indigenous communities to strengthen the knowledge and understanding of traditional Indigenous culture and practices, empowering communities to develop sustainable strategies to overcome barriers and implement traditional fire and land management practices aligned with modern scientific methodologies.  Such workshops also included training to support Land Managers to adopt practical techniques that would enable Traditional clan groups to deliver more sustainable, productive and profitable food, fibre and forestry business while protecting the land’s biodiversity by improving the condition of natural resources. The program activities incorporate adoption of best practice sustainable farming for land and sea, skill development and awareness of scientific development that can increase capacity and capability for sustainable agriculture and land management.  As project manager Balkanu is responsible for achieving set objectives as well as finance and administration of the projects.

With funding support from the Dept of Environment and Science,  Balkanu project managed the Strategic Analysis Of Cape York Peninsula Fire Patterns that provided empowerment to Traditional Land Owners investigate the opportunities in the carbon market.  In joint partnership with Wik Traditional Owners, Balkanu conducted scientific research programs with Cape York  Traditional Land Owners and Land Trusts in the Northern Peninsula regions established the potential of the carbon market through regional management of savanna fire.  Our key tasks were to facilitate assessment of the benefits of both existing and prospective savanna burning projects, develop strategic modelling of the economic benefit of fire management and controls.   The project aimed at facilitating a pipeline of Queensland based carbon offsets projects; supported further research and development of emerging carbon opportunities specific to Queensland that will be beneficial for environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes.

Under Fire and Land Management Workshops Program (sponsored by the Government), Balkanu managed and facilitated educational workshops between Indigenous groups on the Cape.  Our key objectives were to

  • support knowledge sharing of Indigenous fire and land management practices among Indigenous clan groups, strengthen such traditional practices among Indigenous communities.
  • Empower Indigenous communities to support the inclusion of Indigenous fire and land management practices with the wider conventional arrangements of modern technologies.


The program’s activities covered

  • small scale demonstrations of fire knowledge by Elders for young leaders, family members, officers from various Government agencies and Land Managers.
  • Development of strategies for improved collaboration between key stakeholders to overcome challenges relating to implementation for Traditional fire and land management practices,
  • Development of risk management, barriers and future planning around Traditional fire management
  • Investigation of future benefits and opportunities for Indigenous people on Cape York.

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