Fires in exotic forest plantations of Zimbabwe: Causes and management strategies
Of the 201,704-ha allocated to plantation forestry in Zimbabwe, 95,754-ha is usable. Forest plantations are mainly composed of Eucalyptus, Wattle and Pine. The dominant species grown are Pinus patula, P. taeda, E. grandis and Acacia mearnsii. Revenue is generated from timber exports. Forest fires are the major contributors of significant financial losses in these commercial plantations. Hence this article examines the causes of these fires and possible strategies for mitigating these anthropogenic fires.
CONCLUSIONS AND TAKEAWAYS
According to the authors, most of the fires are from jumps during land clearing for cropping. There is no single solution to manage fires in timber plantations. However, combined efforts are needed from various parties, i.e. the government, estate owners and the communities surrounding these plantations. Enforcement of policies by the government and addressing the issue of illegal settlers is needed. The authors further suggest, the use of incentives to increase participation by communities in fire management, and educating them to increase awareness on the risks that are brought by these wildfires, while forest owners continue investing in fire prevention and suppression.
Fires in exotic forest plantations of Zimbabwe: Causes and management strategies. World Development Perspectives. 2018;9:56–58. doi:10.1016/j.wdp.2018.04.006..
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