Living with Fire
Free Webinar Series – 2021
Free Webinar Series – 2021
Cycle I: Living with Fire
Topic: traditional fire management and disaster risk reduction from indigenous perspectives and cultures around the world.
From February to September 2021
Speakers to be announced soon.
Many Indigenous Peoples have ancient histories of sustainable living which often include fire practices designed to protect and nourish their environments. In this presentation, three Indigenous researchers discuss this history, current practices, and look to how future fire management can be guided by cultural burning practices. Issues of sovereignty and environmental justice will also be discussed.
Born in Aotearoa New Zealand, a member of the Tuhoe and Ngāti Ruapani tribes, a geographer by training with a PhD in economic geography. Was researching Maori environmental management until a major earthquake in Christchurch, NZ, in 2011 after which I was involved in disaster research leading to collaboration with Indigenous researchers and community advocates in the UN DRR global and regional (Americas) platforms.
Amy Cardinal Christianson is a Métis woman from the Cardinal/Laboucane families of Treaty 6/8 territory in what is now known as Canada. She is a Fire Research Scientist with the Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada), where her research program focuses on Indigenous fire stewardship, wildfire evacuations, and wildfire mitigation.
Brady Highway belongs to the Asinīskāwitiniwak – the people of the rock. He is a father of two children, a Cree translator and life-long student of the land. Having grown up on the Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan, Brady learned how to respectfully interact with the environment and has been working in the field of environmental protection for over 25 years. Starting as a wildland firefighter, he moved to Yoho National Park to become the youngest Park Warden in Canada at the age of 18 and continued specialized
work in wildfire management. He has held several positions including Initial Attack Crew Leader, Regional Duty Officer, Visitor Safety and Fire Operations Coordinator which offered many unique opportunities to work with Indigenous communities in their own traditional territories. After attending over 250 prescribed, wildland, and structural fires, he now leads a project on behalf of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative developing a national strategy for Indigenous Guardians entering this critical function of resource management. Brady’s passion and commitment to protect the land enters every aspect of his life, instilling values of respect and humility to his children, nieces and nephews who will be left to look after the land into the future.
In this talk, Ari Gorring will present examples of cultural fire management from northern Australian perspective and Sam Johnston will introduce the International Savanna Fire Management Initiative and its focus on revitalising Indigenous fire practices globally. A summary of the research and science that underpins the savanna fire method which proves that cultural fire practices reduce GHG emissions and wildfire, revitalise cultural practices and create jobs for people in rural and remote areas will be also presented.
Ari has over 20 years of experience working with the Kimberley Land Council in Indigenous led cultural conservation, community development and native title. For over a decade Ari worked with a team and many partners to establish a system of Indigenous Protected Areas covering 90,000km2 – ¼ of the Kimberley region – managed by the Kimberley Ranger Network employing more than 100 Indigenous cultural conservation managers. In recent times, Ari led the registration of the North Kimberley Fire Abatement Project which now an Indigenous owned savanna carbon project covering an area of 32,000 km2 that has generated and sold into compliance and voluntary markets over 555,000 Australian Carbon Credit Units.
Sam developed, managed and successfully delivered the first phase of the International Savanna Fire Management Initiative feasibility study from 2011-2015. He has worked on the technology around the world for over a decade. Sam also has over 20 years’ experience in delivering international climate and development projects for a range of donors. He is a qualified legal practitioner in Australia and has 29 years of legal experience in many developed countries and developing countries across all regions of the world. He also has 25 years of relevant experience in international legal practice, in a wide variety of contexts, including in private practice, an international merchant bank, the UN and two of the most internationally prominent universities.
Increasing context of wildfire risk due to changes in land uses and climate is challenging wildfire risk management policies, heavily influenced by “protecting all” paradigm and existing gaps towards a societal agreement of “living with fires”. Socio-environment and policy dimensions for the implementation of integrated risk management approaches will be discussed, sharing lessons learnt from a practical regional perspective at European level.
Forest engineer and Msc in Wildfires Management, his main R+D activities deals with inclusive wildfire risk management, environmental governance and communication and strategic forest land planning, looking into the evolving societal and forestry cross-links
Environmental Engineering Msc, expert in civil protection planning & procedures and early warning system for flood risk. Expertise in disaster flood risk reduction through the implementation of non-structural measures, especially related to preparedness, experiencing participatory planning processes.
Mayor of the Bruc, a town of 2,200 inhabitants within the Natural Park of the Mountain of Montserrat and one of the municipalities where Life Montserrat 2014-2019 was implemented.
As both the magnitude and the drivers of the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis are becoming increasingly well documented, it is uncontroversial that human activities pose an urgent threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across the globe. However, both the public and scientific debates are often polarized into a ‘people vs. nature’ dichotomy, and in doing so, we fail to acknowledge that significant components of the biodiversity and ecosystems that we value, depend on, and struggle to conserve and restore are also partly shaped by human imprints. One reason for our lack of recognition of human’s role in shaping what we perceive as natural biodiversity is the long time-scales involved; these human legacies operate on time-scales we cannot directly observe, from decennia to millennia. The consequences of this lack of recognition of human imprints on our natural ecosystems are a suite of missed opportunities; we limit our understanding the evolutionary and ecological dynamics and functioning of these systems, we lose important sources of knowledge for nature management and restoration, and we deprive people of opportunities to connect with and feel related to nature.
Photo credit (banner): Gabriella Nonino