Challenges of Fire Management: Perspectives from a developing country, Botswana - Pauline Dube
Wild land fire is now widely recognised as a hydro-meteorological hazard that on numerous occasions turns into a catastrophic event. Frequent catastrophic bushfire events have fuelled a negative view of fire at the expense of its positive role in ecological processes and in land use management. For fire prone countries investment in fire fighting is an absolute necessity although wild land fires continue to be a challenge. Fire policies in most African countries are inclined towards fire suppression but for most rural communities fire is an important land use management tool. Fire management is poorly resourced in these countries and marginally linked to fire users. Projected increase in climate variability due to climate change will most likely increase the risk of land use fires escaping and resulting in fire disasters. This seminar will discuss fire management in the context of Southern Africa with a focus on Botswana.
Pauline is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Botswana, currently visiting Australia as an NCCARF visiting fellow. She was the coordinator of the Southern Africa Fire Network (SAFNet) between 2000-2007 and has contributed in a number of regional and international environmental hazards and disasters work including the ICSU initiatives leading to the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk programme and the joint EU-AU strategic partnership agreement for GMES Africa Programme. Pauline was coordinating lead author for Chapter 7 on “Managing risk at the international level” in the IPCC Special Report on Climate Extremes. Currently she leads the SADC EU-AU AMESD project, Capacity Building Fire Service component and also serves in the Botswana National Disaster Management Technical Committee under the Office of the President dealing with all disasters including fire.
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