Fire management in Ethiopia: past, present, and future

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Apart from natural fire cycles in the lowlands and midlands, the past two decades have seen severe wildfires in ecosystems with little or no fire history. Frequency and intensity appear to be increasing with climate change and drought. The emphasis has been on emergency responses, but this must be coupled with more sustainable land use policies, land use plans and practices, and effective sectoral coordination. However, there is no national strategy, and local actors and community members lack capacity to participate. A new, integrated fire management system needs to incorporate real-time early warning and reporting mechanisms, with suitable financing and adequate equipment. Aims-an integrated fire management system For effective forest fire prevention, detection, management and control, this program will develop a strategy that guides the establishment of an integrated, evidence-based national system anchored in multilevel and multistakeholder governance. This will include mechanisms for coordination across sectors and levels of government, with the active participation of resource users, smallholder farmers, pastoralists and the private sector. The Ethiopian Forest Development and the Environmental Protection Agency have formally endorsed the approach and will ensure operationalization. Participatory approaches-to addressing knowledge, capacity and institutional gaps Comprehensive stakeholder mapping identified relevant actors across sectors and levels.

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