The Rangeland Journal The Rangeland Journal Society
Rangeland ecology and management
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Carbon projects and Indigenous land in northern Australia

Jeremy Dore A E , Christine Michael B , Jeremy Russell-Smith C , Maureen Tehan D and Lisa Caripis D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Aboriginal Carbon Fund, 75 Hartley Street, Alice Springs, NT 0870, Australia.

B North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia.

C Charles Darwin University, Ellengowan Drive, Casuarina, NT 0810, Australia.

D Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: jeremy_dore@mm.st

The Rangeland Journal 36(4) 389-402 https://doi.org/10.1071/RJ13128
Submitted: 22 December 2013  Accepted: 18 August 2014   Published: 24 September 2014

Abstract

Land activities contribute ~18% of total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Australia. To help reduce these emissions, the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) was implemented in 2011 to encourage land projects, which reduce the production of greenhouse gases and/or sequester carbon in the land. Prospective projects include savanna fire management and rangelands management, which have high relevance in northern Australia where Indigenous landholding is strong. This paper explores the land-tenure requirements necessary for these kinds of carbon projects to be approved by the Clean Energy Regulator. It provides an introduction to the CFI before discussing the land tenure requirements in the states of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia with respect to both emissions reduction and carbon sequestration projects. Potential issues with the current framework are highlighted, especially in relation to native title.

Additional keywords: Aboriginal, carbon sequestration, carbon credits, environmental services, property rights.


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