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30 sep

Webinar series 30 Sept- Forest Fires: A Warm Welcome or a Burning Burden?

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Thursday 24 September, 20.00-21.30:

Enlighten me! 

Forest fire: natural occurrence or human-induced disturbance?

20:00 Welcome, introduction by host

20:05 Cathelijne Stoof (WUR Pyrolife) – General introduction into forest fires

Cathelijne is specialized in pyrogeography – the interdisciplinary study of the distribution and functioning of wildland fire. She is a board member of the International Association of Wildland Fire, the national delegate of The Netherlands to the EU Expert Group of Forest Fires, and coordinator of the newly funded Innovative Training Network PyroLife, that will train 15 PhD candidates to become the new generation of integrated fire management experts. She will give us a general introduction into forest fires.

20:20 Elmar Veenendaal (WUR) – Vegetation dynamics in relation to forest fires

Elmar is an associate professor at the Plant Ecology & Nature Conservation Group. Elmar has worked on tropical vegetation for more than 30 years, in both dry and wet tropical systems. He has special interest in the vegetation dynamics of the forest savanna boundary and how soils, climate and fire influence forest-savanna transitions. Elmar will focus on the following questions: Can we simply divide tropical vegetation in fire-sensitive forests and fire adapted savanna or is that too simple? How natural are fires in forests and are they a shaper of vegetation structure or a consequence of it? What is the role of humans in present day fire regimes?

20:40 Charlotte Benneker (Tropenbos International) – From burning trees to forest fires in Bolivia

Charlotte Benneker is an expert in forest policies and management with over 20 years of field experience in South America and Africa. She worked for knowledge institutes, the international cooperation, local and international NGOs and local government agencies. She has specialized in the inclusion of local stakeholders in the administration of indigenous territories, community forest management and the integration of local communities in timber and NTFP value chains. She currently works for Tropenbos International as programme coordinator for South America and DRC. To produce food, people have always burnt trees. But how come these practices increasingly turn from burning trees to all consuming forest fires? In South America, the character of the actors using fire and the burning practices themselves have changed due to political and economic factors. But also the conditions in the forests have changed. These factors will be discussed for the Bolivian context including some recommendations of how to deal with them.

21:00-21:30 Discussion – moderated by Pieter van Lierop

Pieter van Lierop currently works as Regional Forestry Officer at FAO in Chile and is a forest fire expert.

All speakers will be present to answer questions and have a conversation about the topic.

Wednesday 30 September, 20.00-21.30

Fire in the Forest: Now what?

Forest fire: how to prevent or control?

20:00 Welcome, introduction by host

20:05 Jelmer Dam (Brandweer Nederland) – Introduction in fire management

As National Coordinator in the field of Wildfire Management at the Dutch fire department, Jelmer will introduce the evening with a general introduction in forest fire management, fire prevention and potential control measurements.

20:20 Rosa Diemont (Form International/Ghana) – Case study

Form Ghana as timber plantation company has always focused on their internal fire risk management strategies to protect the timber plantations. Now, under a collaborative landscape restoration program with Form International, two pilots were carried-out to expand the company’s efforts in a Community Fire Management project. Rosa will talk to us about this concrete case, that shows how connecting interests and collaboration with community fire squads can lead to reduced wildfire outbreaks, a farming environment worth investing in, and empowered community structures.

20:40 Arjan Alkema (FSC) – Fires and the FSC

Arjan Alkema is deputy director at FSC Netherlands and has been working for FSC for over 15 years. His work includes market development, management of the Dutch FSC standard, climate smart forestry and extensive interaction with (inter)national stakeholders. Arjan will give an overview of how FSC as a standard setting organisation deals with (prevention of) forest fires. It appears that stakeholder management is key in forest fire prevention in the tropics. Brief case studies of FSC fire management in Brazil, Guatemala and Indonesia are presented.

21:00-21:30 Discussion – moderated by Pieter van Lierop

Pieter van Lierop currently works as Regional Forestry Officer at FAO in Chile and is a forest fire expert. All speakers will be present to answer questions and have a conversation about the topic.


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