The Code seeks to promote and protect the rights and interests of stakeholders in Australia’s carbon industry. This includes Traditional Owners who may hold legal rights in the land, undertake carbon projects, work for, and be clients of Signatory organisations.
The Code sets requirements for how Signatories should seek to engage with Indigenous stakeholders, particularly Native Title Holders and registered Native Title Claimants, and their representative bodies.
In line with the Code’s mission to enhance the integrity, transparency and accountability of Australia’s carbon industry, this approach aims to create consistency of practice across industry and improve the baseline of best practice in the market. It recognises that Traditional Owners of the land hold vital knowledge and expertise in caring for country, and that their rights, knowledge, resources and wishes must be respected, protected and enhanced.
A Human Rights-Based Approach
This approach is underpinned by fundamental human rights principles. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) affirms the minimum standards for the survival, dignity, security and well-being of Indigenous peoples worldwide. The Declaration was adopted by the UN in 2007, and formally endorsed by the Australian Government in 2009 – meaning it is not a new set of principles.
Signatories must have regard to the UN Declaration, as well as the guidance of the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network (ICIN), and the Clean Energy Regulator. Links to these documents are provided below.
These materials can support compliance with the Code, as well as mitigate project risks that may occur due to improper or unethical engagement with Indigenous stakeholders. Importantly, they provide clarity on seeking free, prior and informed consent from Native Title Holders.
Signatories are encouraged to refer to the ICIN Guidance for information on legal rights. Other guidance materials and resources can be found on ICIN’s website,and Signatories are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these.
More detail can be found in Code materials on this website including the Engagement with Native Title Stakeholders guidance document, below.