Carbon and co-benefits

Carbon and co-benefits are part of the 10 Deserts Project’s (10DP) strategy to build alternative sustainable income streams for Indigenous land management in the desert, particularly for right-way fire management using both traditional and contemporary practices.

A carbon story for the deserts

The 10DP is committed to investigating the potential for generating carbon credits in the project area in a similar way that Indigenous organisations have been successful in northern Australia with savanna burning projects.

South Pole in conjunction with Natural Carbon was commissioned to undertake a feasibility study to address the Australian Government’s prioritisation criteria for method development under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).  Work on the study was completed in early 2020 and a copy of the report, and key findings can be found here.

In response to the findings from the study, the project is:


In addition, the 10DP is investigating the opportunities for deriving income from co-benefits of fire management.

Co-benefits often refer to social, cultural and environmental benefits that are derived from land management activities associated with the generation of carbon credits and for which buyers are prepared to pay a premium or additional price.  For Indigenous communities in Australia this generally relates to the use of cool season burning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Strategically though the 10DP seeks to flip the ‘carbon and co-benefits’ so that social, cultural and environmental benefits are seen to be the primary outcome (sometimes referred to as ‘core benefits’) and carbon credits, when generated, are the co-benefits.

These ‘core benefits’ may include payments for ecosystem services (PES) or new products such as healthy country credits which are aligned to national and international commitments such as the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In support of the above, the project is involved in the following:

Carbon and co-benefits resources

Preliminary notes on the savanna fire management (SFM) carbon abatement potential in the desert (below 600mm rainfall)

Overview of Health Country Credits



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