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General - 16 September, 2021
Over the past decade, uncontrolled forest fires have increasingly captured international headlines. They have affected many regions worldwide, including places not previously associated with fires, such as dense tropical forests. The human tragedy, the loss of assets, and the impacts on health and the environment have been tremendous. At the same time, fire contexts have become more complex, due to the effects of climate change; the presence of disturbed, more flammable vegetations; and the increase of economic activities in fire-prone landscapes. This combination of factors has increased the risk of fires spiralling out of control, and becoming wildfires.
Or in short that it is complex: Wildfires are a very complex issue as it is affected by a multitude of environmental, social, economic, political, and even psychological factors.
Tropenbos International is starting a new project as part of the Working Landscapes programme financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, to promote an integrated fire management practices, building on the approach of fire smart territories (FST), which includes e.g., land use planning, education and physical prevention. The Wildfire project will contribute to establish fire-smart territories with reduced or eliminated risk of extreme wildfire events for the benefits of sustainable use of forest and trees and climate-smart landscape.
The project is starting in Bolivia and Indonesia, two countries that are affected every year by wildfires. Our partners in both countries have already developed projects related to fire management which will be used as starting point. In Bolivia, together with IBIF we will implement effective, locally appropriate and inclusive fire-smart strategies with local partners to reduce the risk of wildfires that affect forested areas and tree and forest-based livelihoods. In Indonesia, together with Tropenbos Indonesia our focus is on rewetting of peatlands to reduce the occurrence of wildfires by involving local stakeholders in a collaborative management process.