By promoting a landscape approach for fire management, the Fire-Smart Lanscape Governance Programme as part of the Working Landscapes programme will contribute to establish fire-smart landscape management. This should result in reduced or eliminated risk of extreme wildfire events for the benefits of sustainable use of forest and trees, contributing to climate-smart landscapes.
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 spiraling out of control and becoming wildfires.
In a fire-smart landscape, stakeholders manage land use and fire to reach jointly agreed objectives and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. Therefore, our long-term goal is that governments, at different scales, in the countries where the TBI network operates improve the enabling environment for the implementation of a landscape approach for fire management in their climate and land-use policies. On the short term, we seek that national and local authorities, in collaboration with local stakeholders implement effective, locally appropriate and inclusive fire-smart strategies.
Download here the programme bochure for more information
The project will therefore pursue two lines of work towards a more comprehensive and effective fire management approach. First of all, at the level of government and governance, to improve policies and regulations related to land-use planning, agriculture and forestry, to create an enabling environment for the implementation of effective fire management practices on the ground, with a special focus on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs; designed to improve coherence of policies related to climate change mitigation and adaptation) to anchor such policies in a broader framework. Secondly, at the landscape level, we will work to implement integrated fire management practices, building on the fire smart territory approach, incorporating landscape-level agreements and the harmonization of approaches among different institutions, as well as elements of education, fire preparedness, response and post-fire recovery.
The project started in Bolivia and Indonesia where partners already had experience on fire management. In Bolivia, IBIF ran a rapid-fire response project in 2019-20 that was a foundation for implementing inclusive, appropriate and effective fire-smart strategies with local partners to reduce the impacts of wildfires on forest-based livelihoods. In Indonesia, Tropenbos Indonesia has a long history of fire research, and was involved in designing a district-level fire response plan in 2020 that involves local stakeholders rewetting peatlands to reduce wildfires. In 2022, the programme began working in Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda.
Later we will expand the project to other countries where the TBI network works
The Fire-smart landscape governance programme is part of the Working Landscapes programme financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.