The International Savanna Fire Management Initiative was based on the premise that as savannas cover approximately one-sixth of the global land surface, the conditions required to establish SFiM abatement programmes are unlikely to be unique to Australia.
In order to test this premise, regional feasibility assessments were undertaken in three separate regions of the world that contain notable tracts of tropical savanna – namely Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The purpose of the assessments was to provide communities, governments, experts and potential donors with an informed starting point to explore the potential for implementing SFiM in their region.
The assessments describe climate, ecosystem, biodiversity characteristics and fire regimes, and make broad recommendations as to whether SFiM would be theoretically possible in each region. They also examine general contextual factors that would indicate the interest in and readiness of different countries to implement SFiM. Where appropriate, the assessments recommend sites with high potential for the implementation of pilot projects that, while drawing from the Australian SFiM experience, would be tailored to local context.
The results of the Assessment for Asia are contained in the Initiative’s report ‘The Global Potential of Indigenous Fire Management’.
In summary, the report finds that in the development and application of SFiM methodologies similar to those utilised in the Australian context is likely to be possible in parts of Africa, where landscapes most resemble Australian conditions. Given that African savannas contribute 71% of global savanna greenhouse gas emissions – combined with acute human needs, reliance by local peoples on fire management to support existing livelihoods, and limited alternative opportunities – methodology-based SFiM represents an important, promising and unique opportunity for the African savanna region.
One of the most promising regions for SFiM in Africa is the Southern African savanna region, including the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) sub-region that includes parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Luangwa Valley sub-region of Zambia. Proposals for SFiM implementation activities have been developed for the KAZA sub-region, and the area in and around the Bwabwata National Park in North East Namibia.
The full report and executive summary are available for download under ‘Related Files’.