The centre aims to extend fire management research and training opportunities particularly to land managers in north Australia, and to regional neighbours, while at the same time maintaining core commitments to, and furthering opportunities with, current partners, especially on indigenous and conservation lands.

The establishment of the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research (DCBR) at CDU builds on 17 years of world-class applied fire management research undertaken in the Northern Territory Government’s rural fire management agency, Bushfires NT. Much of the early research program was aligned closely with that of the Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centre also based at CDU, but which ceased activities in 2009. In recent years much of the applied research program has focused on the development of the science behind Savanna Burning carbon emissions reduction and carbon sequestration projects. Each of these major project areas has required detailed field sampling, analysis and methods development to result in a metric published in the internationally peer reviewed scientific literature.

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