Australia’s National Indigenous Climate Change Partnership

The National Indigenous Climate Change (NICC) project is a forum established in 2008 by indigenous leaders to provide dialogue between corporate representatives, indigenous peoples and other experts about issues, risks and opportunities associated with climate change and participation in carbon markets. According to the project’s webpage, the project “(along with other organizations and alliances representing Indigenous perspectives) has worked to identify mutual opportunities with representatives of Corporate Australia and to have issues such as land tenure, native title and cultural and moral rights addressed by Government in the formulation of an emissions trading scheme.”

The NICC Project established a working group, composed of indigenous peoples, climate change experts, and corporate representatives, to carry out its programmes. It is overseen by a Steering Committee of indigenous leaders. In addition to providing networking opportunities, the working group also promotes opportunities for indigenous peoples to participate in the development of carbon markets. For example, the NICC project facilitated a national forum on indigenous climate change opportunities in March 2011 which brought together indigenous leaders from throughout Australia who produced an official communiqué to the Australian government on its carbon market initiatives; negotiated with Australian Government representatives on the drafting of a carbon farming initiative (CFI) law (an initiative that allows farmers and land managers to earn carbon credits by storing carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on their land), including pathways for indigenous peoples’ participation in the CFI; organised a delegation that presented at a Parliamentary Senate inquiry into carbon farming; and published reports on benefit-sharing schemes from carbon-reduction projects implemented on indigenous peoples territories.

Further Information

Information about the NICC is available at: http://www.indigenousclimatechange.com.au/casestudy6.aspx; see also Robinson et al., Providing Opportunities and Setting Standards for Indigenous Rights to Carbon and Co-Benefits: A Case-Study Analysis of Australia’s National Indigenous Climate Change (NICC) Project, paper prepared for the 3d UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy, 5-7 September 2014, New Haven, USA: http://conference.unitar.org/yale2014/session-2-investigating-specific-issues-human-rights-environment-interface.