28 September 2016
A Northern Hub project is improving our ability to better measure the value of improved fire management to greenhouse gas abatement.
Under the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative, the Emissions Abatement through Savanna Fire Management Methodology allows land managers to earn carbon credits by conducting controlled burning in the early dry season to minimise highly intense fires later in the season.
Land managers earn credits by reducing the amount of methane and nitrous oxide released into the air.
However, the CSIRO’s Principal Research Scientist Garry Cook says this approach needs to also recognise the increased amount of stored carbon as a result of changed fire regimes.
“By reducing the area burnt, more dead organic matter, such as woody debris is left untouched and the storage of carbon increases,” said Dr Cook.
“There is potential to increase the accountable greenhouse benefit by about three times by including the carbon stock of dead organic matter. However, there is currently a lack of data to robustly quantify stored carbon in dead organic matter in lower rainfall savannas.”
Dr Cook is leading a team of researchers from the CSIRO to improve our ability to calculate the carbon benefit in dead organic matter from changed fire regimes in lower rainfall savannas across northern Australia.
“By accounting for carbon stored in coarser woody debris, as well as the non-C02 greenhouse gases, we can better quantify the value to greenhouse gas abatement,” said Dr Cook.
“This has the potential to increase the incentive for land managers to adopt improved fire practices, by allowing them to earn additional carbon credits.”
The researchers will develop a carbon budget for woody debris for 600 – 1000 mm rainfall savannas across northern Australia. This will involve quantifying two key parts of the carbon budget – the annual inputs from branch fall and tree death, and the annual decomposition of dead wood due to such processes as fungal attack and termite consumption.
An accounting framework will also be developed to ensure that these data provide useful inputs to both a carbon farming methodology and the national greenhouse gas inventory.
For further information email [email protected]
Hub researchers and Indigenous rangers have been working hard on the Gulf of Carpentaria’s coastline to assess mangrove recovery following […]
A new Hub project led by Graeme Gillespie from the NT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources is trialling a […]
Hub leader Michael Douglas was recently invited to present in a special session on Biocultural Approaches in Freshwater Conservation at the Society for Freshwater Science […]
Our Northern Hub Newsletter highlights what's going on in our research projects across northern Australia. It includes latest findings, what's coming up and what this all means for sustainable development and land and water management in the region.
The North Australia News Roundup is an informal monthly collation of news relevant to developing northern Australia. It aims to facilitate cross-sector and cross-region knowledge sharing, and more informed conversations and decisions about the future of the region!
Want to know more about Hub activities and the development of northern Australia? Stay informed of activities, research, publications, events and more through the North Australia News Roundup and Hub Newsletter.