National Guidelines on Forest Fire Management in Namibia
Final Draft 31 March/2001
(IFFN No. 25 – July 2001)
VI. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
BASIC AND APPLIED RESEARCH
Principles for Basic and Applied Research
Fire research will provide the basic information required for forest fire management. This information supports the development of various fire management practices, be it in communal or commercial areas.
Research is also required to determine fire techniques to apply for e.g. for range management or for silvicultural forest practices. Available resources as well as the terrain and biomass load will determine the tactics and techniques to be applied for each specific fire management case.
The issue regarding bush encroachment should be dealt with at the national Fire Forum since the problem deals with numerous stakeholders outside forestry.
Support co-operation between universities and local research institutions and if necessary with international partners, to undertake joint research on the following different aspects of forest fire:
a) Fire ecology;
with priority to study fire behaviour at all types of ecosystems
gather and analyze past, present fire knowledge (fire occurrence and ecological impact)
fire impact or prescription on natural regeneration e.g. Terminalia serisea
b) Basic science of fire;
fuel inventory and fuel modeling
fire behaviour models
fire danger index
fire risk and hazard mapping
fire weather forecasting
environmental impact modeling (social, economic and cultural)
impact of gaseous, smoke and particle emissions of fire on bio-chemical cycles, atmosphere and climate.
c) Socio-economic and cultural implications;
socio-economics and fire use
socio-cultural fire use and views of communities
research on swidden (shifting) cultivation
research of traditional gathering of non-wood forest products
research of hunting practices (honey, wildlife)
d) Smoke management;
application of burning techniques that may reduce and control smoke production
study of atmospheric aspects that allow smoke to be dispersed into upper atmosphere and not collect at the land surface
create demonstrations plots of successful prescribed burning results
e) Fuel management;
study the appropriate techniques for prescribed burning for various purposes
develop various grazing techniques for fuel reduction in critical areas
develop a standard for the construction and clearing of cut-lines or fuel breaks for both forested and non-forested areas
develop a fuel break system for commercial farms wherein fenced lines are cleared by the use of herbicides
Utilization of wood waste and other organic matters
Develop bush management techniques by the use of fire and browsing
Research on possible agricultural alternatives to shifting cultivation practices
Principles on the Co-ordination and Co-operation with International Institutions and Experts
Exchange of information on forest fire knowledge and fire management practices between forestry experts and researchers from all over the world is very important in enhancing co-ordination and collaboration in fire prevention and suppression activities. It also facilitates an efficient way of dealing with transboundary fire issues e.g. within Africa or SADC.
Select and organize training concerning information exchange methods. This would e.g. include the availability and accessibility of the daily fire scar monitoring at the Web sites of the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC).
Organize periodic national and international seminars on forest fire management
Bridge fire knowledge with fire management and policy development by issuing periodic newsletters, journal, magazines, comic books, car stickers on forest fire research and development activities.