The Aboriginal Carbon Foundation (AbCF) has joined forces with IAG, Australia’s largest general insurer, whose brands include NRMA Insurance, CGU and WFI, to support the creation of new First Nations-led carbon farming projects across Australia.
Over the course of the three-year partnership, the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation and IAG aim to develop three Aboriginal cultural fire management and carbon farming projects across NSW by 2023, and expand into Victoria and South Australia by 2024.
Carbon farming, or carbon offsetting, involves projects that draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help limit the impact of climate change. In addition to the environmental benefits, these projects provide social, cultural, and economic benefits to the communities that run them.
The AbCF leverages Indigenous land management practices to reduce emissions. Early dry season savanna burning, for example, leverages Indigenous knowledge to reduce the emissions emitted from savanna fires. Savanna fires release strong greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, into the air. Burning savanna in the early dry season when the fuel load is lower and fires are cooler and patchier, results in fewer emissions of these greenhouse gases while reducing the severity of the fires on the local environment and communities.
AbCF spokesperson Sean Appoo said: “Throughout our 12-year existence, the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation has worked hard to catalyse life-changing, community prosperity through carbon farming. We’ve aimed to build wealth for Traditional Owners with social, cultural, environmental and economic core-benefits through the ethical trade of carbon credits with Corporate Australia, government agencies and international bodies.
“Through this partnership with IAG we will work to spread further opportunities to Aboriginal Land Managers in the southern parts of the country and highlight other sophisticated land management practices built on Indigenous Knowledge in tandem with cultural fire practice,” he said.
IAG Executive Manager Climate Action Lee McDougall said: “We’re proud to partner with the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation to help with the creation of new projects that will benefit the environment and communities.
“We’ve already been purchasing a portion of our carbon credits from Indigenous projects over a number of years, and we see this as an opportunity to support First Nations-led solutions to the climate challenges we are all facing and expand the number of carbon credits we purchase from Indigenous projects.”
IAG has a long history of supporting the reconciliation movement and released its first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2013. Last month, IAG released its fourth RAP, which included a commitment to supporting the development of new First Nations-led carbon offset projects. This partnership with the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation delivers on that commitment.
Over time, as more carbon offset projects are established, IAG intends to purchase a portion of its carbon credits from these projects.
This partnership also aligns to IAG’s climate commitments outlined in its latest Climate and Disaster Resilience Action Plan.
About the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation:
The AbCF supports carbon farming projects, led by Indigenous rangers. It connects Aboriginal communities who supply carbon credits, with organisations seeking to offset their carbon pollution and provides training for Indigenous rangers.
For further information, please visit: www.abcfoundation.org.au