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 Asia, while savanna ecosystems share many characteristics with tropical north Australia, the population density, highly fragmented landscapes and high historical rates of conversion of savanna suggest that different models for the reintroduction of SFiM may be more appropriate, notwithstanding the very significant benefits that improved fire management could bring to the region. Sub-regions suitable for further SFiM activities in Asia include the sub-region encompassing Eastern Indonesia and Timor Leste, among savannas in other Asian countries. A proposal for SFiM implementation activities that adopts a cross-border thematic approach based on risk management has been developed for that sub-region.
The full report and executive summary are available for download under ‘Related Files’.