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Indigenous fire use spreads to Botswana

Indigenous people from the Kimberley will be sharing their techniques for using fire to manage savanna emissions with Botswana under a new program.

Traditional owners from the Kimberley will soon be heading to Botswana to share how they manage the savanna using fire.

The carbon-farming projects in the northern part of Western Australia are being held up as an example of world-leading practice that combines space-age technology - satellite monitoring - with the traditional knowledge of indigenous people.

Kimberley Land Council chief executive Nolan Hunter says while burning is used in land management to some extent across the world, his people have taken it to a new level by incorporating the sale of carbon credits and creating jobs for indigenous rangers.

The technique reduces emissions by making sure there are low-intensity fires controlled by experts with traditional knowledge, which then reduces the number and extent of high-intensity fires during the dry season.

"This is about Australia recognising its own indigenous people are leading the way globally in the Kimberley around traditional cultural ecological knowledge - that's the most exciting part," Mr Hunter told AAP at the project's launch during UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany.

Aside from the environmental and economic benefits, the savanna-burning projects also give native title holders the chance to strengthen their connection to country.

"The benefits around creating jobs and training and carbon credit sales is a part of it but the real issue for people is what's in their hearts, what's in their value systems around cultural connections," Mr Hunter said.

The vegetation in Botswana is similar to that in Australia, meaning it faces the same kind of problems and threats from uncontrolled fires, senior Botswanan official Thabang Botshoma said.

"We hope that by utilising both systems, that is, the traditional methods from both countries, we could actually come up with a very, very good fire-management system that will make it easier and cheaper for both countries in the long run," he said.

The Australian government is providing up to $3.87 million for the project with Botswana.

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said savanna management had been one of the great successes from Australia's Emissions Reduction Fund.

"This not only produces better environmental outcomes but it also provides important income to local community members," he said.

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