Conversations on fire management

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Bringing together different perspectives for more participatory and intercultural fire management

A ‘Fire Management Week’, 11 -17 March 2017, in Brasilia, Brazil aimed to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences on fire management among representatives of Indigenous peoples, quilombolas, and traditional communities in Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana, researchers, and public policy managers. The aim was to discuss the aspirations and expectations of Indigenous peoples and traditional communities on how to conduct fire actions within their territories.

The week of activities included a workshop bringing together Indigenous and traditional community representatives, a field trip to observe fire management techniques by government agencies, and a public seminar/debate on fire management. This was organised with the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (IBAMA – federal agency under the Ministry of Environment), PREVFOGO (the fire management body of IBAMA), Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI – governmental protection agency for Indigenous interests and their culture), and INPARQUES (the Venezuelan national parks authority).

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The main outcomes of the week’s activities were:

  • Bringing together Indigenous and traditional communities’ voices from a range of fire-prone ecosystems in the region.
  • Providing a safe space to have reflective discussions on how the process of combining traditional and scientific knowledge for fire management can be improved.
  • Giving an opportunity for learning across different communities, as well as between communities and institutions.
  • Development of shared actions that can be discussed and elaborated upon within communities and institutions.


Calvacante FogoOur next P1140133 (2)steps include completing a report of the workshop outcomes, and developing a larger proposal for the implementation of some of the action plans.

Please see here for articles about the event:


Follow Bibiana Bilbao:
Bibiana Bilbao is Professor at the Department of Environmental Studies, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela. Her research is on tropical savannas, fire ecology, biogeochemical cycles and vegetation change. She has also a long professional experience working on ecological and human dimensions of fire management with Indigenous communities in tropical ecosystems of Venezuela, particularly the Pemón of the Canaima National Park. She is willing to further the development of more effective, socially just and culturally sensitive policies for intercultural and participatory governance of Integrated Fire Management (MIF) in Venezuela, Brazil and other countries of South America such as Bolivia and Argentina.