Community owned solutions for fire management in tropical ecosystems: case studies from Indigenous communities of South AmericaThe 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 Latin America, savanna environments are varied and diverse, as are the social and governance contexts in which the savanna sub-regions are found. Despite long histories of fire management by the region’s Indigenous peoples, fire policy has largely focused on prohibition and suppression. Some programmes have been introduced in the region to encourage and introduce strategic fire management. These programmes have built some technological readiness and human capacity for SFiM in the region. As in the case of Africa, while the application of SFiM methods similar to those utilised in the Australian context is likely to be possible in parts of the region, further work on the ground will be required to facilitate their introduction.
Particularly promising sub-regions for SFiM in Latin America include the Cerrado of Brazil, the Gran Sabana of Venezuela, and the Pine Savannas of Belize. Proposals for SFiM implementation activities have been developed for each of these sub-regions.
The full report, executive summary, and other materials, are available for download under ‘Related Files’.