Appendix 5 - Indigenous Cultural Burning Practices (an example)

Countries like Australia are often ravaged by fierce bushfires, like those in late 2019 and early 2020. The Non-Indigenous approach has not been very effective in preventing the devastation (like loss of property, loss of life, etc) caused by the bushfires. An alternative is the Indigenous approach that has been developed over tens of thousands of years and is increasingly perceived as more effective.

"...cultural burning could help improve government's fire-and land-management methods, and better respond to entrenched dry conditions and large fuel loads from drought and changing climate..."

Oliver Costello as quoted by Tom McIlroy 2019

Since colonisation, around 250 years ago, access to land was restricted and burning was seen as damaging other people's interests.

"...timing of burns and awareness of local wildlife can help make hazard-reduction practices more we burn for the culture of the land to support the country and plants and animals is very important......we're seeing a lot of inappropriate fire regimes......we're seeing what happens when you don't burn the right way. You end up with a lot of fuel in the landscape, and when you have extreme conditions..... It leads to huge fires......if you're into koala country, you're trying to burn to keep fuel loads down and keep important food resources and effort people, but also protecting the koalas in the canopy. It's also about supporting regeneration of future feed trees and pathways required to move around..."

Oliver Costello as quoted by Tom McIlroy 2019

It is more than just burning to reduce fuel; and that it's about reading and understanding the country and its indicators.

Sometimes the current methods of hazard reduction burns worsen the situation, eg burning at the wrong time.

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