Mapoon Land and Sea Ranger Lee Ase during Aboriginal Carbon Foundation training session. Picture: Aboriginal Carbon Foundation
The Government’s CarbonPlus Fund is a $8.4m commitment to support carbon farming industry. Carbon farming includes fire, soil, animal, and vegetation management to store carbon or avoid associated greenhouse gas emissions being released.
Under the CarbonPlus Fund approximately $3.3 million will be used for capacity building services, equipping Queensland Aboriginal communities to participate in the carbon market. The fund will ensure the cultural, social and environmental co-benefits of Aboriginal carbon farming projects are recognised and appropriately valued.
Up to $5 million is allocated for the purchase of carbon credits to offset the emissions from Queensland Government vehicles for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years, prioritising carbon credits from Aboriginal-managed carbon projects. These carbon credits will contribute to reducing the state’s carbon footprint while increasing opportunities for Traditional Owners.
A tender was put out to market by the Department of Environment and Science for the delivery of the capacity building services initiative under the CarbonPlus Fund.
Non-profit company Aboriginal Carbon Fund (now Aboriginal Carbon Foundation) was chosen in 2017 to deliver these services, supporting Aboriginal community participation in the carbon farming industry in Northern Queensland. The company specialises in carbon projects, advice and services to help build the Aboriginal carbon sector Australia wide.
The contract requires Aboriginal Carbon Foundation to undertake a range of initiatives including:
- developing a co-benefit verification framework for Aboriginal managed carbon farming projects
- providing accredited training courses and associated workshops for Aboriginal communities
- establishing a carbon fund to address the gap in the supply and demand sides of Aboriginal carbon credits.
The initiatives deliver benefits such as:
- supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander economic development, employment and environmental management
- stimulating regional economies and contributing to the creation of jobs in regional and rural Queensland.
A total of 25 rangers have been trained at Mapoon and Kowanyama in Northern Queensland. Participants were trained in how to assess social and cultural benefits of carbon farming which may create opportunities for further employment with the foundation in the future.