Savanna fire management and bushfire and natural hazard scenario planning for northern Australia: annual project report 2015-2016
|Title||Savanna fire management and bushfire and natural hazard scenario planning for northern Australia: annual project report 2015-2016|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Russell-Smith, J, Yates, CP, Edwards, AC|
|Institution||Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC|
The Savanna fire management and bushfire and natural hazards scenario planning for northern Australia project is part of a larger suite of Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC projects being undertaken through Charles Darwin University focused broadly on ‘Building community resilience in northern Australia’. 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 activities undertaken in 2015-2016 for two active sub-projects: Savanna fire management, and Gulf fire management. A third sub-project; Management of flammable high biomass grassy weeds, will commence in July 2016, and a fourth sub-project addressing scenario planning issues for better informing and engaging remote communities with project outcomes will commence in early 2017.
The Savanna fire management sub-project (undertaken by Dr Andrew Edwards) commenced late in 2013. It builds upon satellite derived modeling of fire severity. These datasets, combined with fire history mapping, are being applied to assess fire risks to biodiversity, emissions and ecosystem services in general. Over the past year this sub-project has:
1. continued to develop and refine the fire severity mapping algorithm, particulalrly for environmental assessment and emissions accounting applications;
2. undertaken finer scale analyses of the fire mapping and ancillary spatial data for Indigenous land management applications across northern Australia (Kimberley’s, Arnhem Land, Gulf region, Cape York); and
3. undertaken informal workshops with indigenous ranger groups to ascertain the use and utility of the mapping products.
The Gulf fire management sub-project has principally involved PhD studies (undertaken by Kate van Wezel) exploring Indigenous women’s engagement and employment opportunities with fire management and emissions abatement projects being established in the remote NT / QLD Gulf region.
Both above sub-projects are proceeding exceptionally well. Findings from both sub-projects will be incorporated in a substantial final report addressing sustainable north Australian community development issues, due to be published as a book in mid-2017.