« Back to Publications

Indigenous innovation could save a billion tonnes of greenhouse gases

Sam Johnston writes in The Conversation (22.4.16) about the potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that could be achieved through adopting traditional Indigenous land management practices, which could help Australia to meet its Paris Agreement commitments.

‘Of the 50 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year, about 2 billion tonnes (4%) come from wildfires. Warmer temperatures, driven by El Niño, can drive emissions even higher. Emissions from last year’s Indonesian fires alone were estimated to be 1.78 billion tonnes and, in 1997, 4.2 billion tonnes.

‘Getting wildfire emissions under control will be a vital part of combating climate change, particularly as part of increasing ambition to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement. Every possible opportunity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change will need to be included in the new regime.

‘Wildfire is not specifically addressed in the Paris deal, but fire management can help meet several obligations under the agreement. Article 5 of the agreement states:

‘Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases … including forests.

‘Along with colleagues, I have been working with Indigenous people in northern Australia to understand how traditional fire management reduces emissions. Now we want to take this Australian innovation global.’

The TJRyan Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or material available on this website. The TJRyan Foundation reserves the right to change information or material on this website at any time without notice. Links from this site to external, non-TJRyan Foundation websites should not be construed as implying any relationship with and/or endorsement of the external site or its content by the TJR Foundation, nor any commercial relationship with the owners of any external site. Should any TJRyan research project be funded by an individual or organisation the source of funding will be stated beside the research report. In all other cases contributions are provided on a pro bono basis.
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.