First Indigenous carbon credits sold
The first Indigenous-generated, Kyoto compliant Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) have been successfully sold on the open carbon market. In an Australian first, the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) has sold all of its 25,884 ACCUs to Caltex Australia through an open Expression of Interest process.
The carbon credits were generated through controlled savannah burning during 2011 and 2012 on Fish River, a largely pristine 178,000 hectare property owned by the ILC on the banks of the mighty Daly River south west of Darwin.
ILC Chairperson Dr Dawn Casey said while the actual price paid by Caltex Australia was commercial-in-confidence information, the final price was over $20 per tonne.
“This is a fantastic result for the ground breaking Fish River Fire Project which has already notched a number of Australian firsts,” Dr Casey said. “It is the first approved Indigenous Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) project, the first early dry season savanna burning project, the first CFI project generating carbon credits with substantial co-benefits and now the first project to sell Indigenous carbon credits on the
“Money generated from the sale of the credits will now be reinvested in supporting Indigenous jobs and environmental land management on Fish River. “The ILC was attracted to entering into an agreement with Caltex to buy Fish River ACCUs due to the fuel supplier’s demonstrated commitment to advancing Indigenous and environmental causes,” Dr Casey said.
The agreement between Caltex and the ILC reflects the unique co-benefits achieved by the Fish River Fire Project. These benefits include employment and training of Indigenous people, facilitation of access to the property by Traditional Owners, protection of important cultural sites and protection of rare and threatened animal and plant species found on the property.
Caltex Australia is one of Australia’s leading fuel supply, refining and marketing companies and will use the Fish River Fire Project ACCUs as part of its first permit surrender requirements under the Carbon Price Mechanism.
The Fish River Fire Project is Australia’s first controlled savanna burning project to gain approval to produce carbon credits for sale under the Australian Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative.
The property is home to many rare and threatened animal species such as the Northern Quoll, Gouldian Finch and Masked Owl and has areas on monsoon rainforest and nationally-significant wetlands. Early, dry season savanna burning on Fish River has been scientifically proven to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be generated by uncontrolled, late dry season wild fires.
Under the Fish River Fire Project, Indigenous Rangers combine traditional burning knowledge with modern technology to protect country and cultural sites while generating carbon credits. The sale of carbon credits is generating a new income stream for land management on
Fish River and is providing environmentally-based jobs for Indigenous people. The ILC is using Fish River to inform the development of other Indigenous savanna burning projects.