Fire in the tropics: Understanding, foreseeing and acting on future fire risk in tropical landscapes

Project leader Rosa Román-Cuesta
Project status CLOSED
Project start 2018-10-01
Project end 2019-12-31

Countries like India, China or Indonesia are seeing an increase in fire activity due to increasing population pressure, increases in crop residue burning and the existence of vast areas of prior degraded land. In spite of the complex interaction of climate, vegetation, humans, and landscape histories, it is pivotal to understand which regions in the tropics are expected to be more affected by fire in the next decades. This will help us program in advance those areas that would require increased support for capacity training, management planning and policy reinforcement, to minimize human risks, guarantee the protection of their current ecosystem services (carbon, biodiversity, water, air cleaning, food), and veil for the protection of existing human investments (plantations, agro-commodities, infrastructures).

To achieve this goal, the project will:

  1. Identify hotspots for fire management priority in the tropics, considering current significant trends in rainfall patterns including oceanic phenomena like ENSO or NAO, vegetation distribution and resilience to fire, the advance of agricultural frontiers, human population expansion, land degradation status, and economic trends.
  2. Prioritize regions where USAID and US partners (i.e. USFS) have been offering support in the past (REDD+, Swamp, Forest management, Fire management, etc)
  3. Develop an ahead-of-time program to build capacity around fire management in selected regions. This capacity will include technical aspects as well as governance and policy reinforcement towards fire management. South-South dialogues will be reinforced. Capacity will focus on institutional support that will then be top-downed to local settlers through extension programs.


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