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FAO Releases Report on Mega-Fires and Climate Change

10 May 2011: At the International Wildland Fire Conference in Sun City, South Africa, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a preliminary report titled “Findings and Implications from a Coarse-Scale Global Assessment of Recent Selected Mega-Fires.” The report suggests that changing climate may be exacerbating the growing number of mega-fires and resulting in a positive feedback loop.

The report studies recent fires in Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Indonesia, Israel, Greece, the Russian Federation and the US. In its recommendations, the FAO calls for more comprehensive fire management and improved monitoring of emissions from wildfires. The FAO notes the likelihood of increased fires during hotter and drier summers. The report describes positive policies undertaken by the State of Florida, in the US, and Western Australia to effectively manage fires through balanced approaches to prevention, mitigation and suppression approaches. It also describes the benefits of community-based fire management initiatives. [Publication: Findings and Implications from a Coarse-Scale Global Assessment of Recent Selected Mega-Fires] [FAO Press Release]