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Managing fire regimes in north Australian savannas: applying Aboriginal approaches to contemporary global problems

Russell-Smith, Jeremy, Cook, Garry D., Cooke, Peter M., Edwards, Andrew C., Lendrum, Mitchell, Meyer, C. P. (Mick) and Whitehead, Peter J. (2013). Managing fire regimes in north Australian savannas: applying Aboriginal approaches to contemporary global problems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment,11(1):e55-e63.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB550
Title Managing fire regimes in north Australian savannas: applying Aboriginal approaches to contemporary global problems
Author Russell-Smith, Jeremy
Cook, Garry D.
Cooke, Peter M.
Edwards, Andrew C.
Lendrum, Mitchell
Meyer, C. P. (Mick)
Whitehead, Peter J.
Journal Name Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 11
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1540-9295   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84883243798
Start Page e55
End Page e63
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication Washington DC
Publisher Ecological Society of America
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Savannas constitute the most fire-prone biome on Earth and annual emissions from savanna-burning activities are a globally important source of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Here, we describe the application of a commercial fire-management program being implemented over 28 000 km2 of savanna on Aboriginal lands in northern Australia. The project combines the reinstatement of Aboriginal traditional approaches to savanna fire management – in particular a strategic, early dry-season burning program – with a recently developed emissions accounting methodology for savanna burning. Over the first 7 years of implementation, the project has reduced emissions of accountable GHGs (methane, nitrous oxide) by 37.7%, relative to the pre-project 10-year emissions baseline. In addition, the project is delivering social, biodiversity, and long-term biomass sequestration benefits. This methodological approach may have considerable potential for application in other fire-prone savanna settings.

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/120251   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes Copyright by the Ecological Society of America


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