Reducing the Negative Impacts of Vegetation Fires on the Environment and Humanity

Chapter Home    Chapter Text    Bibliography   Current Membership   Links   Pictures/Video  News   Recommendations




Prof. Dr. Johann G. Goldammer, Coordinator @ Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) / Fire Ecology Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, c/o Freiburg University and United Nations University (UNU), Georges-Koehler-Allee 75, 79110 Freiburg, Germany, Tel: +49-761-808011, Fax: +49-761-808012, Email:

Coordinators and members of the Regional Wildland Fire Networks,
details to be added – see: 



The Issue
Over the past years, many countries and regions of the world are experiencing an increase of extremely large and severe vegetation fires. Some of the fire effects are trans-boundary -- smoke and water pollution from such fires directly impact lives, human health and safety, livelihoods, material possessions, loss of biodiversity or site degradation at a landscape level leading to desertification or flooding. The depletion of terrestrial carbon by fires burning under extreme conditions in some vegetation types, including organic terrain in peat land biomes, is a major contributor to global climate change. Observed and modeled consequences of regional climate changes suggest that the world’s vegetation, the global environment and humanity will become increasingly vulnerable to and damaged by fires.

In response to the escalating situation the UN-ISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group / Global Wildland Fire Network (Coordinator and Secretariat: Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), Freiburg, Germany) were founded in 2003 to provide independent advice to local communities, national governments and administrations, international organizations, and the United Nations system to reduce the negative impacts of vegetation fires on the environment and humanity. The approach includes the promotion of competence-based fire management involving the role of natural and human-used fires in natural ecosystems and land-use system where appropriate and needed