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Savanna burning methodology for fire management and emissions reduction: a critical review of influencing factors

Maraseni, Tek Narayan, Reardon-Smith, Kathryn, Griffiths, Greg, Apan, Armando
Carbon balance and management 2016 v.11 no.1 pp. 25
burning, ecosystems, fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, protocols, rain, savannas, Australia
Savanna fire is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Australia, savanna fire contributes about 3% of annual GHG emissions reportable to the Kyoto Protocol. In order to reduce GHG emissions from savanna burning, the Australian government has developed and approved a Kyoto compliant savanna controlled burning methodology—the first legal instrument of this kind at a global level—under its Emission Reduction Fund. However, this approved methodology is currently only applicable to nine vegetation fuel types across northern parts of Australia in areas which receive on average over 600 mm rainfall annually, covering only 15.4% of the total land area in Australia. Savanna ecosystems extend across a large proportion of mainland Australia. This paper provides a critical review of ten key factors that need to be considered in developing a savanna burning methodology applicable to the other parts of Australia. It will also inform discussion in other countries intent on developing similar emissions reduction strategies.