Forest fires are burning nearly twice as many trees as they did two decades ago, according to a new study from the University of Maryland. Rising temperatures caused by human activity are an important driver of worsening wildfire conditions on a global level vulnerable to fires.
As the study shows: In addition to climate change, human activity in and around forests makes them more vulnerable to wildfires and plays a role in driving higher levels of fire-related tree cover loss in the tropics. Improving forest resilience by ending deforestation and forest degradation is key to preventing future fires, as is limiting nearby burning that can easily escape into forests, particularly during periods of drought.
More than ever it is important to take better care of forests and share good practices of preventing forest fires. An upright practice is presented by Form International with a community fire management program that is developed with Form Ghana. With a community fire management-approach in Ghana, towards wildfire prevention the wildfires are reduced with 78%!
Rosa Diemont managed this Landscape Restauration Programme in Ghana and she saw how certain interventions changed the lives of people and the surrounding landscapes. Rosa Diemont says “This Community fire management project caused a great change in people’s perception of fire. Instead of fire being a taboo and focusing on punishment for using it, the project gave people the tools and responsibility to take preventative measures and use fire responsibly. Where prior to the programme, farmers felt powerless, they are now proud and confident, feeling part of the solution to protect the lives and livelihoods of their neighbours. This was fascinating to see”.