Fire, ecosystems and people: Threats and strategies for global biodiversity conservation1


Ayn Shlisky2, John Waugh3, Patrick Gonzalez4, Mauro Gonzalez5, Maria Manta6, Heru Santoso7, Ernesto Alvarado8, Ahmad Ainuddin Nuruddin9, Dante Arturo Rodríguez-Trejo10, Randy Swaty11, David Schmidt12, Merrill Kaufmann13, Ron Myers14, Ane Alencar15, Faith Kearns16, Darren Johnson17, Jim Smith18, Douglas Zollner19

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Fire plays a major role in shaping our environment and maintaining biodiversity. When fire regimes are altered, they can contribute to climate-changing greenhouse gases into the environment, provide a pathway for harmful invasive species, alter the hydrology of a site, and present a direct risk to biodiversity and human habitation. Effective biodiversity conservation requires, among other things, that fire is allowed to play a natural role and at the same time that it does not pose a threat to biodiversity or human well-being. The Global Fire Partnership (GFP) includes The Nature Conservancy, World Conservation Union (IUCN), University of California at Berkeley Center for Fire Research and Outreach, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The GFP implemented 3 expert workshops between January and July 2006 covering four broad biogeographic realms to establish scientifically credible data consistently at coarse ecoregional levels for global biodiversity conservation. Results revealed that 25 percent of terrestrial area is intact relative to fire regime conditions. Ecoregions with degraded fire regimes cover 53 percent of global terrestrial area while ecoregions with very degraded fire regimes cover 8 percent. Assessment continues of the remaining 13 percent. Globally, boreal forests and taiga are the most intact systems relative to fire regime conditions, and Mediterranean forests, woodlands and scrub are the most degraded. Based on regional expert workshops, the top threats to maintaining an ecologically-acceptable role of fire include ecosystem conversion (e.g., livestock ranching, agriculture, urban development), resource extraction (e.g., energy production, mining, logging and wood harvesting), and human-caused fires or fire suppression. Effective biodiversity conservation depends on building global to local constituencies and partnerships focused on abating the leading causes of altered fire regimes, enabling public policies and local capacities to make a difference at ecologically-relevant scales, educating practitioners and policy- and decision-makers about the ecological role of fire and the ecological and social costs of altered fire regimes, implementing Integrated Fire Management, creating economic incentives for maintaining intact fire regimes, monitoring fires and changes in land use and land cover, enforcement of laws that support ecologically-appropriate fire prevention and fire use, and being adaptive to changing knowledge, social and political contexts, and ecological conditions.

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Publicações periódicas (revistas, jornais, boletins)
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WIldfire 2007 - Sevilla - Espanha - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259657820_Fire_ecosystems_and_people_threats_and_strategies_for_global_biodiversity_conservation
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