Fire management using community-based models to build environmental resilience

A learning exchange on community-based fire practices took place at the 2024 BHP Foundation Environmental Resilience partners’ workshop. Representatives from Australia and Chile shared fire management approaches in different landscapes, ranging from deserts to forests.

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Yilka Rangers ground burning - Credit Kayshun Murray

As incidences of wildfire are increasing across all landscapes, examples of cultural fire practices used by Indigenous peoples in Australia and community-based fire management practices in Chile were explored for opportunities to build environmental resilience.

Fire management in a changing climate

Jonny Hodgetts and Kerenza Sunfly — from the Indigenous Desert Alliance (IDA), and Victoria Alonso and Henry Tepper —from Fundación Tierra Austral, exchanged experiences and ideas about ways to support community-based fire practices.

The Indigenous Desert Alliance (IDA) manages the Right Way Desert Fire project, the largest fire management program by area in the world.

Right-way fire means burning is occurring on-country at the right time of year when weather conditions ensure that fires are small, patchy, low intensity, and are scattered throughout the landscape using traditional Indigenous and contemporary fire methods.

Learn more about Indigenous Desert Alliance | Right Way Fire, a project supported by BHP Foundation.

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Aerial view of a cool fire burning on Ngurrara Country at sunset – Credit Ngurrara Rangers

Fundación Tierra Austral, Chile’s first Land Trust, leads the Boldo to Cantillana project, where these opportunities to improve community-based fire management are of interest as Chile has experienced more than 15 years of drought. This is occurring alongside unsustainable land uses and inadequate land-use planning, which is leading to a significant increase in the threat and destructive impact of wildfires.

Learn more about the Boldo to Cantillana, an innitiative supported by BHP Foundation.

“We shared knowledge about enabling government policies and ways to promote community-based fire practices, with the ultimate goal of building environmental resilience. It’s exciting to hear the ideas flow when we bring people together from different ecosystems and countries”, Melinda Macleod BHP Foundation's Environemtal Resilience Program Director.


The 2024 Environmental Resilience partner’s workshop was convened by the BHP Foundation, hosted by Conservation International Peru and facilitated by Ampliseed Learning and Leadership. Over five days, 18 people from the seven projects within the Environmental Resilience Program came together staying in the heart of the Alto Mayo region in Moyobamba, Peru. 


Environmental Resilience Program

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