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NAFI NEWS

Updates from the world of fire management in Northern Australia

Welcome to the NAFI newsletter

What's New?

NAFI has changed... The new NAFI website, released last year for testing, is now the primary www.firenorth.org.au site. If you haven't checked it out before, functionality remains the same, with functions now grouped under common tasks listed along the top of the map. The new site should also be able to handle heavy usage more easily than the old site.

Some recent updates include:
  • a larger range of KMLs for download including fire history patterns. Comparison of these 10 year periods can be useful for detecting changes in fire patterns
  • the ability to upload your own features (boundaries / tracks / firelines etc) as kml or kmz files. These can then be shared with others via the unique weblink provided
The old NAFI will be maintained as a backup, but with a different web address (http://138.80.128.151/nafi2/). Data will be updated but no new tools will be developed for that site. If you had email alerts set up on the old site they have been transferred over to the new site with the same password.

Fire reports will no longer be available from the old site; these can now be accessed under the "Create Report" tab on the new NAFI site and from www.infonet.org.au. If you have a set area you would like added to the drop-down areas for reporting purposes, please email a shapefile or kml file to nafi@cdu.edu.au 

 

Burning Tracks 

Sending in flight lines / burning tracks can be of great use in the NAFI mapping process, particularly early in the season during the prescribed burning period when it is important to capture these often relatively small fires. If you have any burning tracks from your prescribed burning operations, send them through to NAFI@cdu.edu.au to ensure your work is captured.


'Beyond NAFI Training' in Katherine



Staff from Nitmiluk National Park, together with Katherine-based staff from Bushfires NT, recently attended a practical workshop held by the Darwin Centre for Bushfires Research and learnt some useful tools to assist their prescribed burning operations and contribute to implementing effective breaks in the future. The training involved learning how to access and view freely available Landsat imagery to provide a detailed image of smaller early dry season fire breaks, and MODIS imagery to get a same-day picture of burnt areas without having to wait for the latest NAFI mapping update.  Read more about the training here:


Sessions have been held in Cairns, Alice Springs and Batchelor; if you are interested in holding a similar workshop in your area please contact felicity.watt@cdu.edu.au or rohan.fisher@cdu.edu.au


Methodology and SavBAT Update
(from the Federal Department of the Environment)

The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative—Emissions Abatement through Savanna Fire Management) Methodology Determination 2015 has been approved by the Minister and is now available for use. The weblink is: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2015L00344

Some key features of the methodology are: 
  • Eligibility now extends into a low rainfall zone defined by geospatial layers on the Department of the Environment web site. An indicative map can be downloaded here. The low rainfall zone has five unique eligible vegetation fuel types. The four vegetation fuel types for the high rainfall zone are as in the previous method.
  • Higher net abatement totals in the high rainfall zone than the previous version of the method. The method now accounts for fine fuel accumulation by season, whereas in the previous method an annualised value was used.  As a result there is a larger difference between high rainfall zone emissions in each season and this results in higher net abatement.
  • Adjustment of net annual abatement in each project area to reduce the risk of over-crediting of projects by managing year to year variability in emissions abatement and year(s) with emissions that are higher than the baseline average annual emissions. An uncertainty buffer is calculated for each project area at the end of each calendar year. At the beginning of the project, including for transitioning projects, the value of the uncertainty buffer is zero. The uncertainty buffer is added to in years where net annual project area abatement is greater than zero and the value in the uncertainty buffer in the previous calendar year is less than a capped value. The uncertainty buffer is subtracted from in years where net annual abatement is less than zero. The cap is 5% of the average annual baseline emissions.
  • New ERF (Emissions Reduction Fund) legislation allows methods to specify additionality and newness requirements:
    • In lieu of regulatory additionality - fire management required by law is allowed as long as it is not required for the primary purpose of reducing emissions. This removes a previous barrier to projects in National Parks.
    • In lieu of newness - fire management for emissions reductions can commence prior to project commencement (e.g. employing rangers, trial burns), but fire emissions from trial burns must be accounted for in the baseline
  • Under the Act, for each project area, the last year of the baseline years must be the calendar year before project commencement (or the year before any additional project area is added)
    • Existing projects that transition can use existing baseline periods provided they have submitted an offsets report.
This new methodology is now integrated with version 2 of Savanna Burning Abatement Tool (SavBAT 2) which simplifies the reporting and record-keeping requirements.  The tool is available at: http://savbat2.net.au and has some key changes from an earlier version of this tool (SavBAT 1):
  • You can use SavBAT 2 to generate hypothetical abatement estimates. Users are able to upload a project boundary and the tool will clip a vegetation map from the supplied government vegetation fuels type base map. The results are presented as a series of scenarios showing what abatement you can expect for annual percentages of project area burnt in early and late burning in some future year.
    • A vegetation fuels type base map is available to inform scenarios but is not validated in accordance with the requirements of the methodology. 
    • The vegetation fuels type base map in raster format can be downloaded for use in GIS software from the SavBAT 2 welcome page.
  • Users are required to enter the Global Warming Potentials manually (as these will change).
SavBAT 2 was aligned to the exposure draft of the methodology determination, and enhancements are now required to bring the tool in line with the Determination as approved by the Minister. The enhanced version 2.1 will include calculations for net annual abatement and the uncertainty buffer and will be available mid-year at http://savbat2.net.au/).
 

Below are some of the latest links added to the Fire Manager website.


 

Subscribe to our email newsletter for useful tips and resources for working with fire and the NAFI service in northern Australia, or contribute a fire management story from your area: http://eepurl.com/0QnLX

                                                           

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Charles Darwin University · Ellengowan Drive, Brinkin, Northern Territory · Darwin, NT 0810 · Australia 


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