Sustainable savanna burning on Tiwi Islands, Australia

Empowering traditional land owners to manage fire risk which boosts the native biodiversity of the Tiwi Islands.

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Sustainable savanna burning on Tiwi Islands, Australia

Empowering traditional land owners to manage fire risk boosting the native biodiversity of the Tiwi Islands.

Protecting over 49 native plant species
126,035 tCO2 saved
Protecting 32 bird species
Employment for traditional land owners

Sustainable savanna burning on Tiwi Islands, Australia

Empowering traditional land owners to manage fire risk boosting the native biodiversity of the Tiwi Islands.

Protecting over 49 native plant species
126,035 tCO2 saved
Protecting 32 bird species
Employment for traditional land owners

Community & Location

The Tiwi Islands are part of the Northern Territory, Australia, located 80 km to the north of Darwin adjoining the Timor Sea. They comprise Melville Island, Bathurst Island, and nine smaller uninhabited islands, with a combined area of 8,320 square kilometers.

Project snapshot

The Tiwi people are the traditional owners of the Tiwi Islands, where they have conducted the savannah burning methods for centuries to gather food and for the development of flora and fauna. The Tiwi peoples’ patch burning methods are designed to remove dead grasslands to make room for newer and greener plants. In turn, this attracts hundreds of species of animals, birds, reptiles, etc.

However, fire on a large scale causes an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore the Tiwi Islands Savanna Burning for Greenhouse Gas Abatement Project was registered in 2016 with the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, allowing Tiwi people to earn carbon credits from their fire management.

Why we fund this project

We love this project as it protects the Australia land and it's communities with traditional practises. This not only means there is a carbon emission benefit but cultural and economic benefits too. Safeguarding the traditions of the Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory of Australia is important to us, being able to do so whilst have a positive impact on net emissions and provide economic stability to communities means this project is very close to our hearts.

This project has a good track record and is externally audited. Savanna burning reduces the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the area - to incentivise and empower the Tiwi people to continue to adopt the sustainable burning methods they earn an income from the carbon credits.  The total number of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) issued to date is 126,035. In addition, active fire management mitigates the risk and impacts of late-season, destructive wildfires.


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How does this project help?

The Tiwi Islands Savanna Burning for Greenhouse Gas Abatement Project helps the Tiwi community safeguard their traditional values and protect nature. Proceeds generated from the project allows the Tiwi people to create a source of income and helps to keep the community both engaged and employed.

Active fire management protects important Tiwi assets such as plantation forests and cultural and sacred sites of significance. Fire management is also imperative to prevent seasonal fires, ecosystem degradation, loss of habitat, and species decline. The entire burning process is conducted through fire management with a helicopter monitoring the burning process to identify patches of fire in order to reduce wildfires and burning of sacred sites, vegetation and outstations

Research on the island shows that there are 20 different types of grasses, 29 shrubs, 32 bird species snakes, frogs, lizards and small mammals all found on the Tiwi Islands. This work helps to protect the animals and their habitat which boost the evolving biodiversity of the area.


Who else is behind this project?

We work with The Aboriginal Carbon Fund to fund this project. They are a fantastic organisation, established as a not-for-profit in 2010, who aim to build wealth for Traditional Owners with social, cultural, environmental and economic core-benefits through the ethical trade of carbon credits. They are members of the Carbon Market Institute

This project is also verified by...

This project is an ACCU credit which is verified by Australia's Clean Energy Regulator.

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