In Print and Online

Category: Fire management


Title: Fire Management Code

Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

Language: English, Spanish, French, Russian

Date: July 2006

Number of pages: 48

Eco-Index Summary: FAO has developed an extensive code to promote a more holistic approach to fire management activities. The code establishes an international framework and strategic actions to address the cultural, social, environmental, and economic aspects of fire management. The code is voluntary and legally non-binding, and covers the full range of fire management, including early warning, detection, preparations, extinction of unplanned and damaging fires, effective use of natural fires or prescribed burns to support natural ecological processes or reduce the accumulation of natural fuel from commercial or non-commercial activities, and the restoration and rehabilitation of ecosystems damaged by fire. The document also includes related agreements, conventions, and important declarations.


Title: Spreading Like Wildfire: Tropical Forest Fires in Latin America and the Caribbean

Author: Mark A. Cochrane

Organization: United Nations Environment Programme

Date: 2002

Languages: English, Spanish

Number of pages: 96, with References and Photos

Eco-Index Summary: Public officials who are responsible for fire control must confront a number of cultural and ecological challenges. These are detailed in this UNEP publication, which also suggests available tools to monitor and combat wildfires, citing scientists and world experts. Among the studies cited is, Bolivia Burning: Severe Forest Fire Season in South America. Also included is an excellent summary of the entire report, perfect for busy decision-makers.


Title: The Ecological Role and Management of Fire in Caribbean and Central American Pineland Ecosystems

Author: Global Fire Initiative, The Nature Conservancy

Organizations: The Nature Conservancy and USDA Forest Service

Date: May 2002

Languages: English, Spanish

Number of pages: 23, with Photographs, Maps, List of Contacts and Bibliography

Summary: While fires are a common theme in protected area management plans of the Central American and Caribbean region, there is little known about sound fire management, particularly the benefits of controlled fires in pine ecosystems. For example, in the Bahamas a prolonged absence of fire in pine forests slows the regeneration of these trees, and the forest is eventually converted into a stand of hardwoods.

This document presents the highlights of a workshop held May 7 - 9, 2002, in the Río Bravo Conservation and Management Area of Belize, with the participation of administrators from 12 conservation areas of the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Belize and Florida. The report offers information about the ecology of the fires and how to develop and implement fire management plans in natural reserves. It also describes the effects of fire in pine stands and tropical savannahs when there are frequent and infrequent fires, the changes to be expected in these ecosystems when subjected to fire management regimes, and the consequences of fire suppression and prevention versus controlled burns. For example, it is noted that the use of controlled burns supports the conservation of diversity in the herbaceous vegetation, causes fewer large fires, and reduces the severity and intensity of the fires. Also mentioned is the importance of incorporating wildlife species associated with these ecosystems into fire management plans, especially those that are endangered, as excess fire can cause loss of species. Finally, the document presents regional cases of fire management.