Smog over Southeast Asia in 1997
In 1997 alone haze caused by air pollutants from fire spread for more than 3,200 kilometers, covering six Southeast Asian countries. In the Malaysian state of Sarawak, air pollution reached one the highest recorded indices at 839 g/m3 (levels over 301 g/m3 are equal to smoking 80 cigarettes a day).
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Number of major wild fires by continent and decade since 1950
Within industrial countries, the area burned by fires is declining but the number of major fires is increasing. In the United States, for example, the area burned has declined by more than 90% since 1930, while in Sweden the area burned annually fell from about 12,000 hectares in 1876 to about 400 hectares in 1989.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
The boreal forest biome holds the second largest stock of carbon; most of this is stored in the
soil and litter. The draining of boreal forest peatlands, inappropriate forestry practices and poor
fire management may all cause significant losses of the carbon stored in this ecosystem.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Trends in Arctic vegetation productivity 1982-2005 (Greening of the Arctic)
Arctic vegetation has undergone enormous change in the past, most notably in response to the glacial and interglacial periods of the Quaternary. Data from many sources and at several scales suggest that recent climate change is already affecting terrestrial Arctic ecosystems. Comparisons of historical and contemporary aerial photographs provide evidence that Arctic vegetation has already undergone significant shifts in recent decades, foreshadowi...
01 May 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Working on Fire programme achievements
The goal of the Working on Fire programme is to protect life and livelihoods and ensure a sustainable and well balanced environment. The programme is advocating and assisting with good land management strategies and an integrated fire management regime. At the same time, the programme contributes to black economic empowerment, skills development, social equity and accelerated service delivery that work towards poverty alleviation. The empowerment...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Wildfires in South Africa
Wildfires mostly affect rural settlements, but to an increasing degree also urban areas, which have developed in fire-prone areas. The impact of wildfires in natural vegetation on the poorest groups of the population cannot be overstated. Many informal settlements are located in the transition zone between densely settled land and land carrying high fuel loads. If not properly managed such areas pose a high risk of wildfires, which may inflict se...
01 Mar 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal