Reported by Rebecca Pearse
Holding a virtual forum might not have the buzz and opportunities that emerge from physically networking, spotting faces across the coffee lounge, re kindling or seeding new collaborations and ideas. But it does offer the opportunity to virtually step into each other’s world. This was evident in February as teams in some of the most remote parts of northern Australia presented at the Northern Australia Savanna Fire Forum. The added challenges of internet connections from the Tiwi Islands or Kimberley, and glimpses into the rangers’ working offices brought the reality of fire management in Australia a little more vividly to those of us sitting in our research offices.
In my experience the Fire Forum is unique in the depth and breadth of practitioners attending, and the focus is on sharing experience and knowledge to continue to consolidate the foundations of this maturing industry, and strengthen the social, cultural and economic benefits for communities. The industry continues to be supported by strong research foundations from the CDU Center for Bushfire Research, Bureau of Meteorology and Bushfires NT. Research by Cape York NRM, funded by the Land Restoration Fund attempts to address issues unique to the Cape such as land tenure, stakeholder knowledge, property size and bio-cultural priorities through an aggregation model. While the government has not prioritised further method development, the industry continues to work to secure a method that will incorporates all pools of carbon, laying the foundations for land management practice change that will not just reduce emissions, but sequestrate carbon. Despite technological advances the land sector remains the only means to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And every ranger talking at the forum appreciated the importance of the work they do.
Hosted by the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network, with thanks to funding from The Nature Conservancy Australia, further information can be found at https://www.savannafireforum.net/
Image Broome bush at sunrise. Credit to JPLENIO/Pixabay