2022 National Landcare Conference
Rowan Foley, CEO of the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation was pleased to be one of the speakers at the 2022 National Landcare Conference, Emerging Environmental Markets for Landcare Panel, on Monday 29 August 2022.
This panel explored the practical considerations for participation in the carbon market and other environmental initiatives such as land stewardship. It considered opportunities, risks, potential revenue streams, and the co-benefits, including increased productivity. Panellists included: Dr Adrian Ward, Rowan Foley, Peter Anderson, Ben Keogh, Dr Shane Norrish.
Extract from Rowan’s presentation: “We need to move beyond the simple Acknowledgment of Country, into the actual programs themselves. We need to move beyond the rhetoric. A good example of this is the State of the Environment Report, where the author also mentioned the fact that we have Indigenous co-authors for the first time. So, it’s not just about consulting Traditional Owners, but it’s actually about embedding First Nations knowledge into the actual program itself, and I think that is something that is rather missing at the moment. … Embedding Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous programs in the actual activity is something that there is a lot of resistance to. So around cultural fire, in particular, where people say: ‘We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and now we’re going to put in a hazard reduction burn. We have consulted with the Traditional Owners we have a couple of Aboriginal Rangers, and now we’re going to use the European model of burning.’ … It’s that part of the program we’re starting to shift.
So Cultural Fire Credits means that Traditional Owners have the cultural authority to burn that country. They’ll be leading the burns, in collaboration with the local RFS, the local farmers, the local landholders – but it’s a completely different way of operating. So, when I say we need to move beyond the rhetoric … it’s about the actual program itself, and that’s where we still have a lot of resistance. Where people will say: ‘Look we acknowledge the Traditional Owners, but we’ll be burning the way that the white man burns.’
Now through Cultural Fire Credits there’s a mechanism where the Traditional Owners can be actively engaged and supported to burn with cultural authority, the way that the First Nations burn, in that particular area – so we are modifying the markets to bring things back to the way they should be. We’re not letting the markets dictate what they want it to be, we’re saying – ‘no, this is the way it should be’, and then we’ve built a market around that. It’s a different approach, it takes a lot of thought, a lot of time, a lot of energy, but that’s what we’ve done.”
The 2022 National Landcare Conference was held at the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales, 23-25 August 2022. It featured 140 speakers and 4 panels. To hear more of the discussion on the Emerging Environmental Markets for Landcare Panel visit the YouTube link.