Rohan Fisher, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Australia.
The Savanna landscapes of northern Australia are the most fire prone on earth. Australia’s tropical savannas cover 1.9 millionkm2 (around a quarter of the continental land mass) with an average of around 20% burning each year. The dominance of large hot late dry season fires in these landscapes has been shown to negatively impact biodiversity, carbon emissions and soil stability.
Over the last fifteen years there has been increasing effort to improve fire management supported by fire information tools help guide strategic burning programs. In 2012 ‘Savanna Burning’ legislation was passed providing a methodology for land managers to obtain carbon credits for reducing the prevalence of severe fires. This has led a rapid increase in North Australian fire management projects, predominantly on aboriginal land run by aboriginal people.
This presentation backgrounds this successful industry as a model of indigenous engagement in payment for environmental services activities and describes working supporting cross-cultural knowledge exchange supporting best practice fire management. Specifically described is his ongoing work developing innovative forms of 3D tactile fire simulations to help integrate spatial-ecological datasets with lived experience for improved planning outcomes. Rohan’s will also introduce his related capacity building work in eastern Indonesia developing decentralised satellite image, terrain analysis and 3D participatory mapping skills.
Rohan Fisher has worked with satellite data and GIS for the last 25 years, initially for CSIRO in Canberra, and subsequently for the Northern Territory government in Alice Springs and Darwin. For the last 13 years he has worked at Charles Darwin University focusing on capacity building and geospatial applications for natural resource management, health information visualisation and good governance in Eastern Indonesia.
Rohan also works for the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research (DCBR) and is responsible for supporting fire management across northern Australia through training extension work and weekly satellite derived fire mapping delivered through the North Australia Fire Information website. His current research and capacity building interests are focused on developing innovative 3D data visualization tools and simulation models for exploring landscape processes and complex systems. His current PhD research focuses on the use of 3D tactile landscape with projected interactive fire simulation models supporting cross-cultural knowledge exchange for best practice fire management in Northern Australia.