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From Marrakech to the world - Kimberley fire management

Dec 09. 2016

Valuing Indigenous knowledge, sharing experiences and lobbying government and business to support traditional fire management projects formed the basis of the recent Kimberley Land Council delegation to COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

COP22 is one of the most important global meetings to address climate change, bringing together leaders from across the world and Australia, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.

Kimberley Land Council Chief Executive Officer Nolan Hunter said the event was an important opportunity to exchange ideas and create momentum for greater support of Indigenous knowledge, including traditional fire management that generates carbon credits.

"Kimberley Aboriginal people are leading the way when it comes to Indigenous fire management and carbon abatement," Mr Hunter said.

"The KLC is now looking at ways to scale up fire management projects and enable more Traditional Owners to become involved in carbon markets.

"These projects present a win-win opportunity for Kimberley Aboriginal people – a sustainable means of looking after their country and cultural values, and real progress towards improving livelihoods from native title property rights."

Mr Hunter said the KLC was invited to make five presentations about their work throughout COP22.

He said it was clear from attending the Marrakech event that Kimberley fire management is considered "world class".

"The partnerships between Indigenous people, government and business, the investments and technologies behind them are all ground breaking," he said.

"There are many Indigenous people across the world who want to visit the Kimberley to learn more about carbon abatement projects and who look to us as leaders in this industry.

"The science is clear – the world must start taking action on climate change and that is exactly what Traditional Owners are doing right across northern Australia."

A symbolic sign of the increasing recognition of Indigenous people was the invitation to Indigenous groups to make a statement at the closing session of the COP where they underscored their crucial role in finding climate change solutions.

Other outcomes of COP22 included a commitment to deliver a new Indigenous People’s Platform for sharing best practice and promoting the interests and engagement of Indigenous People.

The Australian Government also announced it had ratified the Paris Agreement shortly before the COP22.