Forests on Fire: Special Report

Forests on Fire

As fires have burned in the Amazon, Indonesia and parts of Africa over the past weeks, calls for action to protect forests have been heard from around the world. The environmental crisis has caught the attention of world leaders, public figures and activists alike. Fires have raged at an alarming rate in many different ecosystems, including Indonesia’s peatlands, the dry lands and forests of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the boreal forests of Russia.

There is no silver bullet to this crisis. And yet witnessing these destructive stories even from afar has made many aware of the bigger picture: that forests are critical to the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people and in the battle against climate change.

It is important to address the underlying factors that have caused these massive fires and to apply an integrated fire management that includes preventative measures, so that future wildfires are monitored and prevented early. This calls for sustainable forestry and including forests into climate change policies and economic development plans.

Michael Brady
Team Leader, Value Chains, Finance and Investments

Media Enquiries
Jeremy van Loon
Team Leader, Outreach and Engagement


In July and August 2019, the CIFOR team that works on Community-Based Fire Prevention and Peatland Restoration received reports of peatland fires in the neighboring villages near the project site in Bengkalis, Riau, Indonesia. Many of the fires occurring near community plantation and residential area have been suppressed, yet the hard-fought battle is still ongoing, following the long dry season in the archipelago.

See the fight against the fire through the lens of our scientists and the Fire Care Community in the villages of Dompas, Pakning Asal and Buruk Bakul in Riau, Indonesia.

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