New perspectives in fire management in South American savannas: The importance of intercultural governance.

Affiliation

Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW200EX, UK. [Email]

Abstract

Wildfires continue to cause damage to property, livelihoods and environments around the world. Acknowledging that dealing with wildfires has to go beyond fire-fighting, governments in countries with fire-prone ecosystems have begun to recognize the multiple perspectives of landscape burning and the need to engage with local communities and their practices. In this perspective, we outline the experiences of Brazil and Venezuela, two countries where fire management has been highly contested, but where there have been recent advances in fire management approaches. Success of these new initiatives have been measured by the reduction in wildfire extent through prescribed burning, and the opening of a dialogue on fire management between government agencies and local communities. Yet, it is clear that further developments in community participation need to take place in order to avoid the appropriation of local knowledge systems by institutions, and to better reflect more equitable fire governance.

Keywords

Brazil,Fire policy,Indigenous,Savanna,Traditional knowledge,Venezuela,