South Africa has been granted US$3.5m for a three-year project to implement integrated fire management programmes in the Fynbos biome.
The grant was made available through the Global Environment Facility Special Climate Change Fund, established to support adaptation and technology transfer in developing countries party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Fynbos Biome, a fire-dependent ecosystem, is particularly vulnerable to risks from unwanted wildland fire triggered by climate change.
The GEF Fynbos Fire Project aims to reduce the risk to life, the economy and the environment caused by unwanted wildland fires associated with climate change, by developing sustainable interventions to radically reform the approach to managing wildland fire and implementing strategies critical to good practice.
Sustaining people and ecosystems
The Fynbos Fire Project focuses on facilitating Integrated Fire Management in the Fynbos Biome: a framework upon which to build a balanced, workable, and sustainable tool that will meet the fire-related demands of ecosystems and people with minimum harm to the environment.
Integrated Fire Management (IFM) has been defined as a series of actions that include: fire awareness and prevention, risk mapping, hazard identification, prescribed burning, resource sharing and co-ordination with fire detection, fire suppression and fire damage rehabilitation also playing a crucial part of IFM. Implementing IFM protocols means taking a giant step towards the creation of a sustainable and well-balanced environment.
The Fynbos Fire project is being implemented by a Project Management Unit on behalf of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). A Project Steering Committee (PSC) serves as the project’s decision-making body. The PSC plays a critical role in project monitoring and evaluation.
Co-funders of the project include the South African National Department of Environmental Affairs, through the Working for Water and Working on Fire Programmes, Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Western Cape Fire Protection Associations, the FFA Group of Companies and the United Nations Development Programme.