Forest Resources Assessment - WP 55


Rome, 2001


Paper drafted by:
Johann G. Goldammer,
Fire Ecology Research Group,
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry/The Global Fire Monitoring Center,
GFMC, c/o Freiburg University, Germany
& by:
Robert W. Mutch, Fire Management Applications,
USA Technical Coordinator: Robert W. Mutch Editing
& lay out:
Patrizia Pugliese, FAO, FRA Programme

The photo on the cover page reproduces a painting by the artist Monte Dolack

The Forest Resources Assessment Programme

Forests are crucial for the well-being of humanity. They provide foundations for life on earth through ecological functions, by regulating the climate and water resources, and by serving as habitats for plants and animals. Forests also furnish a wide range of essential goods such as wood, food, fodder and medicines, in addition to opportunities for recreation, spiritual renewal and other services.

Today, forests are under pressure from expanding human populations, which frequently leads to the conversion or degradation of forests into unsustainable forms of land use. When forests are lost or severely degraded, their capacity to function as regulators of the environment is also lost, increasing flood and erosion hazards, reducing soil fertility, and contributing to the loss of plant and animal life. As a result, the sustainable provision of goods and services from forests is jeopardized.

FAO, at the request of the member nations and the world community, regularly monitors the world’s forests through the Forest Resources Assessment Programme. The next report, the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000), will review the forest situation by the end of the millennium. FRA 2000 will include country-level information based on existing forest inventory data, regional investigations of land-cover change processes, and a number of global studies focusing on the interaction between people and forests. The FRA 2000 report will be made public and distributed on the World Wide Web in the year 2000.

The Forest Resources Assessment Programme is organized under the Forest Resources Division (FOR) at FAO headquarters in Rome. Contact persons are:

Robert Davis FRA Programme Coordinator [email protected]

Peter Holmgren FRA Project Director [email protected]

or use the e-mail address: [email protected]


The Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) Working Paper Series is designed to reflect the activities and progress of the FRA Programme of FAO. Working Papers are not authoritative information sources – they do not reflect the official position of FAO and should not be used for official purposes. Please refer to the FAO forestry website ( ) for access to official information.

The FRA Working Paper Series provides an important forum for the rapid release of preliminary FRA 2000 findings needed for validation and to facilitate the final development of an official quality-controlled FRA 2000 information set. Should users find any errors in the documents or have comments for improving their quality they should contact either Robert Davis or Peter Holmgren at [email protected].


List of figures

List of tables

Contributors for the country fire profiles



Executive Summary

1 Introduction
1.1 Forest fires at a global level: an overview
1.2 Forest fire issues and opportunities
1.3 Fire exclusion and fire use in the management of forests
1.4 Ecosystem management: use of fire regimes as indicators

2 Africa Region Fire Assessment

2.1 Introduction
2.1.1 The fire environment, fire regimes and the ecological role of fire in the region
2.1.2 Summary of major wildfire impacts on people, property and natural resources during the 1990s
2.1.3 Fire management organizations in the region
2.1.4 Fire databases
2.1.5 Use of prescribed fire
2.1.6 Public policies affecting wildfire impacts
2.1.7 Sustainable land-use practices to reduce wildfire hazards and wildfire risks
2.1.8 Community involvement in fire management activities
2.1.9 Fire research

2.2 Tropical and non-tropical southern Africa
2.2.1 Fire Situation in Mozambique
2.2.2 Fire Situation in Namibia
2.2.3 Fire Situation in South Africa

2.3 West Moist and Central Africa Sub-Region
2.3.1 Ghana
2.3.2 Cote d'Ivoire
2.3.3 Fire Situation in Bénin
2.3.4 Fire Situation in Central African Republic

2.4 West and East Sahelian Africa Sub-Region
2.4.1 Fire Situation in Ethiopia
2.4.2 Fire Situation in Kenya
2.4.3 Fire situation in Sénégal
2.4.4 Fire situation in Sudan

3 Asia Region Fire Assessment

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Insular and Continental Southeast Asia Sub-Region
3.2.1 Brunei Darussalam
3.2.2 Cambodia
3.2.3 Laos
3.2.4 Myanmar
3.2.5 Viet Nam
3.2.6 Fire Situation in Indonesia
3.2.7 Fire Situation in Malaysia
3.2.8 Fire Situation in the Philippines
3.2.9 Fire Situation in Thailand

3.3 South Asia Sub-Region
3.3.1 Fire Situation in India
3.3.2 Fire Situation in Nepal
3.3.3 Fire Situation in Sri Lanka

3.4 Middle East, Central and East Asia Sub-Region
3.4.1 Fire Situation in China
3.4.2 Fire Situation in Islamic Republic of Iran
3.4.3 Fire Situation in Japan
3.4.4 Fire Situation in Kazakhstan
3.4.5 Fire Situation in Republic of Korea
3.4.6 Fire Situation in Mongolia

4 Europe Region Fire Assessment

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Mediterranean Sub-Region
4.2.1 Fire Situation in Cyprus
4.2.2 Fire Situation in Greece
4.2.3 Fire Situation in Italy
4.2.4 Fire Situation in Lebanon
4.2.5 Fire Situation in Morocco
4.2.6 Fire Situation in Spain
4.2.7 Fire Situation in Turkey

4.3 Northern, Western and Eastern Europe Sub-Region
4.3.1 Fire Situation in Belarus
4.3.2 Fire Situation in Estonia
4.3.3 Fire Situation in Finland
4.3.4 Fire Situation in Germany
4.3.5 Fire Situation in Latvia
4.3.6 Fire Situation in Lithuania
4.3.7 Fire Situation in the Russian Federation

5 Oceania Region Fire Assessment

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Fire Situation in Australia

5.3 Fire Situation in Fiji

5.4 Fire Situation in New Zealand

6 North America, Central America and Caribbean Region Fire Assessment

6.1 North America Sub-Region
6.1.1 Introduction
6.1.2 Fire Management in Canada
6.1.3 Fire Situation in the United States
6.1.4 Fire Management in Mexico

6.2 Central America Sub-Region
6.2.1 Introduction
6.2.2 Costa Rica
6.2.3 Guatemala
6.2.4 Fire Situation in Nicaragua

6.3 Caribbean Sub-Region
6.3.1 Fire Situation in Cuba
6.3.2 Fire Situation in Trinidad and Tobago

7 South America Region Fire Assessment

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Uruguay

7.3 Venezuela

7.4 Fire Situation in Argentina

7.5 Fire Situation in Bolivia

7.6 Fire Situation in Brazil

7.7 Fire Situation in Chile

8 Conclusions

Appendix 1: Fire Management – A model for the operational safeguarding of forest resources from wildfires

Appendix 2: Fire template used to request information from Member Countries

FRA Working Papers

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