News

UNU-IAS TKI, Australia Introduce Savanna Fire Management Initiative

5 December 2012: The UN University's Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) Traditional Knowledge Initiative (TKI) introduced the Savanna Fire Management and Sustainable Livelihoods Initiative on the sidelines of the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC in Doha, Qatar. 

The Initiative will explore the transferability of Australia's experience with savanna fire management to developing countries, including in sub-Saharan Africa and South America. UNU-IAS TKI, the Australian Government and the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) are collaborating on the Initiative.

According to UNU, Australian indigenous communities and farmers reintroduced traditional patchwork burning early in the dry season, a practice that limits the scale and intensity of late dry season fires and reduces greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. Through Australia's Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), these communities generate carbon credits that are sold to Australian companies for emissions offsets. The projects have produced additional benefits, including improved biodiversity, food and water security, enhanced livelihoods and strengthened adaptation capacity.

The Initiative will explore the potential of countries with similar savanna landscapes and traditional management practices to adopt and adapt Australia's abatement methodology. Next steps in the Initiative include the identification of pilot sites, in-country partners and implementation pathways. Australia will support the Initiative with an AUS$ 599 million fast-start finance package.

Speakers at the COP 18 briefing on the Initiative included: Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary, Australia, who provided an overview of the Initiative; Sam Johnston, UNU-IAS TKI, who highlighted the Initiative's long-term vision and plans for a global roll out; and Peter Yu, NAILSMA, who presented the experience of traditional owners in developing the CFI methodology. [UNU Initiative Site] [UNU Events Notice] [Project Factsheet]