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Savanna Fire Management Project: 2014-15 Annual Report to the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre

Russell-Smith, Jeremy and Edwards, Andrew C. (2015). Savanna Fire Management Project: 2014-15 Annual Report to the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. : .

Document type: Research Report
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School, Research Institute or Centre Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research
Author Russell-Smith, Jeremy
Edwards, Andrew C.
Title of Report Savanna Fire Management Project: 2014-15 Annual Report to the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre
Publication Date 2015
Field of Research 300605 Fire Management
Abstract The ‘savanna fire management and BNH scenario planning for northern Australia’ project is part of a larger suite of BNH CRC ‘northern hub’ projects being undertaken through Charles Darwin University. Collectively, these projects aim to promote enhanced understanding of the special circumstances concerning resilience issues in remote Indigenous communities, and identify culturally appropriate governance arrangements and enterprise opportunities that can contribute to enhancing community development and resilience.
We report here on the past year’s activities undertaken through two of the three sub-projects. The third sub-project ‘management of high biomass weeds’ will commence activities in July 2015. The ‘Gulf fire management’, project, now more appropriately replacing the ‘spinifex and mulga landscapes’ project, commenced in January 2015, building on the substantial effort made by Indigenous ranger groups, it will assist to develop culturally appropriate landscape fire management programs that will also offer economic opportunities through existing and future market-based savanna burning greenhouse emissions abatement, carbon sequestration and other Payment for Ecosystem Services markets. Although in its infancy, to date this project has:
1. Appointed a CRC funded PhD student, Kate van Wezel, to assist develop the capacity and engagement of women rangers in a project entitled “Towards culturally appropriate fire management in the Waanyi and Garawa lands: impediments, opportunities, and key challenges.
2. Undertaken a week long field trip to this very remote region and visited the Indigenous communities of Borroloola and Robinson River, to familiarize staff with the region and to discuss the proposed research program with key local community members.
The ‘savanna burning’ project commenced late in 2013. It builds upon satellite derived modeling of fire severity mapping, these data, combined with fire history mapping have been applied to assess the risk of fire to biodiversity, emissions and ecosystem services in general. In the past year this sub-project has:
1. developed and refined the fire severity mapping algorithm;
2. developed finer scale analyses of the fire mapping and ancillary spatial data for two remote indigenous regions around Kunbalanja and Ngukurr;
3. undertaken informal workshops with indigenous ranger groups to ascertain the use and utility of the mapping products, and;
4. co-edited a substantial book outlining the north Australian 600 to 1,000 mm mean seasonal rainfall region methodology for calculating greenhouse gas emissions abatement and the potential for carbon sequestration from trees and coarse woody debris.
To date the projects and their sub-components are being managed correctly, with all milestones completed.
Keyword Fire management
Savanna burning
Fire severity
 
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Created: Wed, 16 Sep 2015, 15:00:43 CST by Andrew Edwards