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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Minister for Climate Change and Water

$10 million to help Northern Australian Indigenous communities explore potential of future carbon markets

Joint media release
20 March 2009

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The Rudd Government will invest up to $10 million to support participation by Indigenous communities in potential carbon markets.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, and Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Wong, said the initiative was part of the Government's comprehensive strategy to tackle climate change and would complement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

"This initiative will look at carbon market opportunities arising from traditional fire management in northern Australia," Minister Garrett said.

"Workshops run as part of the initiative will provide information on climate change and the implications and opportunities for Indigenous people."

Senator Wong said the initiative would investigate the legal framework for crediting emissions reductions from altered fire regimes and research their scientific and market potential.

"Through this project, we will establish a number of large-scale fire management project areas in the savanna regions of northern Australia and look at whether traditional fire management can be used to help reduce carbon emissions," Senator Wong said.

The traditional fire management project will be managed by the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance, which will partner with Indigenous land managers and scientists and researchers from Charles Darwin University and the CSIRO.

"The use of traditional fire management as opposed to unmanaged, large, high intensity fires will also provide biodiversity benefits for the environment,' Minister Garrett said.

A wide range of Indigenous organisations and other interest groups participated in an initial workshop held in Canberra today, with more workshops to be scheduled across Australia in coming months.

This initiative is an element of the Australian Government's Caring for our Country program.

Commonwealth of Australia