Bouncing back better after large forest fires

How can you bounce back better after a large forest fire?

Forest fires are part of the evolution of ecosystems, but they also cause severe disasters including loss of life, damage to homes and economic losses every year. As climate change effects such as long periods of drought become worse, forested areas become susceptible to more frequent and increasingly bigger forest fires.

It is a wicked and complex topic which involves many puzzle pieces. In this GLF Digital Summit, we will focus on post-fire recovery as a specific, crucial puzzle piece in the disaster management cycle. We will listen to stories from California, South Africa and Portugal to get familiar with the full swing of options to recover from forest fires which informs how you mitigate, prevent and respond to future events. In particular, we will pay attention to community-based approaches, landscape planning as well as entrepreneurial solutions to the problem.

After a general introduction by a moderator, each speaker shortly shares the context of their forest fire situation, their current approaches and a statement for the discussion that follows.


  • Moderator: Dr. François-Nicolas Robinne, Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
  • Vandria Borari is from the Borari indigenous people from Brazilian Amazon and she is the first indigenous lawyer from her region, committed to protect and preserve the Amazon and the rights and cultural heritage of it’s traditional inhabitants. In this webinar, she will reflect on the three forest fire stories from an indigenous peoples perspective. Besides being an indigenous lawyers, Vandria is also a volunteer firefighter together with other indigenous men and women.
  • Dr. Akli Benali shares his insights from a research & multi-stakeholder project in Alvares in central Portugal. In this talk, three important interventions are highlighted to lower the frequency of fires, provide safe conditions for communities and stimulate a local economy.
  • Misha Teasdale from Greenpop will share experiences of responding to the big fires that happened across the garden route (80 000 hectares over the last two years burnt), with community-driven restoration, art, permaculture design, natural building and other workshops in this space.
  • Matthew Trumm is the project leader of the Camp Fire Restoration Project in Paradise, California. In 2018, devastating forest fires – apparently started by power lines – killed  over 80 people and destroying almost 14,000 homes in California. The recovery process will take years, but the work has already started. This tragedy is being turned into an opportunity through the work of the Camp Fire Restoration Project.
  • Otto Beukes is a Landscape Innovator at Living Lands, an organisation that facilitates collaborations and knowledge sharing in landscapes of South Africa since 2009.
  • This Digital Summit is hosted by the GLF in collaboration with Commonland as part of the ENABLE consortium.
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