Examining the economic drivers of wildfire: where there’s smoke, there’s finance

IUFRO’s Fire$: Economic Drivers of Global Wildland Fire Activity Task Force examines the role of local-to-global temporal, spatial and economic dynamics influencing the occurrence of wildland fires across the planet.

Professional firefighters try to stop an advancing fire with the help of local volunteers in Galicia, Spain. Photo: Nelson Grima

“The world is ablaze. Or so it seems, and the scenario is repeating itself every year now,” says Dr. François-Nicolas Robinne, of the University of Alberta’s Department of Renewable Resources, and Coordinator of IUFRO’s Fire$: Economic Drivers of Global Wildland Fire Activity Task Force.

The Task Force explores the nexus between the economic level of local populations, fire activity and effects on the provision of ecosystem services and the global appetite for international commodities.

There is no comprehensive assessment at this time of the economic drivers of global fire activity – either as direct drivers linked to capital market systems/cash economies, or as indirect drivers linked to the production of non-market values from ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. So, gathering this type of information into one robust and informative product is one of the fundamental reasons for the Task Force.

The Task Force activity is explained in more detail in an IUFRO Spotlight article #83 October 2020. Read the full article here.

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The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) is a non-profit, non-governmental international network of forest scientists, which promotes global cooperation in forest-related research and enhances the understanding of the ecological, economic and social aspects of forests and trees. IUFRO unites more than 15,000 scientists in almost 700 Member Organizations in over 110 countries, and is a member of ICSU.