New perspectives in ﬁre management in South American
savannas: The importance of intercultural governance
Jayalaxshmi Mistry , Isabel Belloni Schmidt, Ludivine Eloy,
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018
Abstract Wildﬁres continue to cause damage to property,
livelihoods and environments around the world.
Acknowledging that dealing with wildﬁres has to go
beyond ﬁre-ﬁghting, governments in countries with ﬁre-
prone ecosystems have begun to recognize the multiple
perspectives of landscape burning and the need to engage
with local communities and their practices. In this
perspective, we outline the experiences of Brazil and
Venezuela, two countries where ﬁre management has been
highly contested, but where there have been recent
advances in ﬁre management approaches. Success of
these new initiatives have been measured by the
reduction in wildﬁre extent through prescribed burning,
and the opening of a dialogue on ﬁre management between
government agencies and local communities. Yet, it is clear
that further developments in community participation need
to take place in order to avoid the appropriation of local
knowledge systems by institutions, and to better reﬂect
more equitable ﬁre governance.
Keywords Brazil Fire policy Indigenous Savanna
Traditional knowledge Venezuela
THE BURNING ISSUE
Wildﬁres wreak havoc on habitats and peoples around the
world. The 2017 Chile wildﬁres, 2016 Fort McMurray ﬁres
in Canada, the regular catastrophic bushﬁres in Australia,
Portugal and the USA, and the annual burning of vast tracts
of forest and savanna ecosystems in the Amazon Basin and
Indonesia are emblematic of this capacity for impact. Over
the decades, scientists have expanded our understanding of
ﬁre behaviour and ecology, the effects of burning on
landscape dynamics, soils and biodiversity, and ﬁre’s
contribution to global warming (Scott et al. 2014,2016).
Yet, the extensive occurrence of wildﬁres continues to
highlight the gap between ﬁre policies largely conceived in
classic conservation terms within colonial histories, and
local burning practices situated in speciﬁc environmental
contexts (Eloy et al. 2018).
At the same time, there is mounting evidence to show
the critical role of indigenous and traditional communities
in effective ﬁre management (Trauernicht et al. 2015). For
example, satellite imagery from northern South America
suggests that indigenous lands have lower incidence of
wildﬁres and deforestation rates, which signiﬁcantly con-
tribute to maintaining carbon stocks and biodiversity
(Nepstad et al. 2006; Nelson and Chomitz 2011; Flantua
et al. 2013; Nolte et al. 2013; Welch et al. 2013; Walker
et al. 2015). However, traditional ecological knowledge
(TEK) on ﬁre management is still poorly described, rarely
addressing the spatial and seasonal patterns of local burn-
ing practices within the landscape. With the now wide-
spread recognition that eliminating landscape ﬁres is not
only ecologically, but also socially and economically
unviable in ﬁre-prone ecosystems (Bilbao et al. 2010;
Durigan and Ratter 2016; Mistry et al. 2016), countries in
South America are moving towards the potential of an
‘intercultural ﬁre governance’ (Rodrı
´guez et al. 2013a,b);
governance that acknowledges the multiple perspectives of
landscape burning, thus reducing conﬂict amongst stake-
holders, and supporting locally threatened biological and
FROM ZERO FIRE TO PRESCRIBED BURNING
Fire has been used as a management tool by traditional
communities in savanna and forest environments around
ÓThe Author(s) 2018
the world for millennia (Bowman et al. 2011) and some
ecosystems such as tropical savannas are dependent on
regular burning (Durigan and Ratter 2016; de Carvalho
and Mustin 2017). Nevertheless, most countries adopted
‘zero-ﬁre’ policies intended to avoid and control virtually
any ﬁres, by focusing on ﬁre-ﬁghting techniques such as
ﬁre brigades, technical support in the form of helicopters
and trucks, and predictive ﬁre risk modelling, as well as
environmental education programmes to dissuade indige-
nous and local people from burning. Critiques of wide-
spread ﬁre suppression policies underlined the unique role
ﬁre plays in the ecologies and cultures in many parts of
the world, as well as highlighting the ineffectiveness of
these policies (McDaniel et al. 2005; Sletto 2008;Sor-
rensen 2009; Carmenta et al. 2013; Mistry et al. 2016).
This stimulated a turn in the tide as ﬁre managers realized
that a different approach was needed; one that addressed
the continued occurrence of wildﬁres with the changing
socio-economic situation of countries, the conﬂict of
interests with local communities, and the emerging effects
of climate change.
Indeed, after several decades of frustrated attempts to
implement zero-ﬁre policies, Brazil and Venezuela have,
over the last 2–3 years, started to consider and implement
ﬁre management policies (Bilbao et al. 2010,2017;
Schmidt et al. 2016,2018) (Box 1). These policies seek to
reintroduce ﬁre as a management tool in ﬁre-prone
ecosystems in order to (re)create seasonal mosaic land-
scapes, manage dry fuel and avoid large and catastrophic
wildﬁres. This represents a major paradigm shift in ﬁre
management policies. In Brazil, prescribed early dry
season ﬁres, based on the Australian savannas experiences
of valuation and reinterpretation of indigenous burning
practices (Bliege Bird et al. 2008; McGregor et al. 2010;
Russell-Smith et al. 2013,2015), are an important aspect
of the management techniques which aim to consider
TEK and actively involve local communities. In Vene-
zuela, the integration of indigenous burning practices with
ecological knowledge from long-term collaborative ﬁre
experiments in savanna-forest gradients constituted the
basis of a patch-mosaic burning model to be applied in
Canaima National Park (Bilbao et al. 2006,2009,2010;
´guez et al. 2013a,b). However, while signifying
major advances, as we discuss below these new ﬁre
management programmes need to be based on rigorous
assessment of the local socio-ecological context in Brazil
and Venezuela to ensure management goals are achieved.
For example, the excessive concentration on early dry
season ﬁres to prevent late dry season ﬁres may in fact
affect the existence of landscape pyrodiversity and
exclude local productive activities (Oliveira et al. 2015;
Petty et al. 2015; Laris et al. 2016).
Box 1 Recent ﬁre management developments in Brazil and
Since 2014, Brazil and Venezuela have started to consider and
implement ﬁre management policies, through networks of
research, expertise and international cooperation.
In Brazil, the Ministry of Environment, co-funded by the German
Cooperation Agency and piloted in three large ([150 000 ha)
protected areas (PAs) initiated the Cerrado–Jalapa
Located in the northern Cerrado (savanna), this Integrated Fire
Management programme aims to: (i) change the predominant
burning season in PAs, especially reducing the areas hit by late-
dry season wildﬁres; (ii) protect ﬁre-sensitive vegetation, such
as riparian forests, from wildﬁres; (iii) enhance PA staff
decision-making and ﬁre management abilities, and; (iv)
decrease conﬂicts between PA and local communities. The
project has close links with the Australian savanna ﬁre
management model (Russell-Smith et al. 2013,2015) and
involves advice and exchanges between Australian and
Brazilian park managers (Schmidt et al. 2018). Local research
to determine management goals and ﬁre regimes, and
continuous evaluation will be essential to adapt international
experiences to the Brazilian socio-ecological context.
In Venezuela, there has been a longer history of trying to move
away from solely ﬁre-ﬁghting, focused in the Canaima
National Park (CNP) in the south-east of the country. The
CNP contains the headwaters of the Caronı
supplies the Guri Reservoir where 70% of the country’s
hydroelectric power is generated. Here, wildﬁres are a regular
occurrence, and in spite of carrying out expensive and
enormous ﬁre suppression efforts, on average only 13% of
total ﬁres are combated (EDELCA-CORPOELEC 2008). A
series of participatory action research projects funded by the
national science ﬁnancing agency (FONACIT) have brought
together ancestral Pemo
´n indigenous ﬁre knowledge,
scientiﬁc debate and inclusive dialogue between indigenous
communities, ﬁre-ﬁghters, institutional and academic
stakeholders about the socio-ecological issues of the CNP
(Bilbao et al. 2010,2017; Rodrı
´guez et al. 2013a,b). Fire
experiments initiated in 1999 for 11 years in savanna-forest
gradients simulating traditional Pemo
´n ﬁre management
techniques have shown how burning at different times during
the dry season generate heterogeneous fuel patterns and
biodiversity which reduce the risk of hazardous wildﬁres and
protect the most vulnerable and diverse riparian and tropical
humid forests (Bilbao et al. 2006,2009,2010).
In the past 2 years, the Brazilian and Venezuelan experiences
have converged in several meetings and workshops, and we
(the authors) have organized and facilitated multi-stakeholder
meetings on ﬁre management in Parupa, Venezuela (2015)
and in Brasilia, Brazil (2017)
involving local indigenous and
traditional community representatives, scientists,
environmental managers and government ofﬁcials. These
have contributed to the development of a national ﬁre
management policy in Brazil (currently at consultation phase
with the explicit aim to include traditional ﬁre practices and
promote intercultural ﬁre management) and the adoption of
intercultural and participatory ﬁre management by the
Venezuelan government as part of their core policies and
plans for the Venezuelan Protected Areas National System.
123 ÓThe Author(s) 2018
INITIAL LESSONS LEARNED
There are advances and challenges associated with the new
ﬁre management approaches in Brazil and Venezuela.
Here, we point out some of the inherent tensions and bar-
riers faced by ﬁre managers.
This is the ﬁrst time in Brazil and Venezuela that natural
resource managers are actively planning and starting large-
scale prescribed ﬁres, a major step forward for conserva-
tion agencies (Rodrı
´guez et al. 2013a,b; Milla
Bilbao et al. 2017; Schmidt et al. 2016,2018). Although
there is a growing body of scientiﬁc knowledge on the
effects of ﬁre on Neotropical biodiversity (Durigan and
Ratter 2016), not all species or situations have been stud-
ied. This is especially important when one considers the
broadly applicable information ﬁre managers might need or
use to take management decisions (Driscoll et al. 2010).
The inherent dynamic nature of ﬁre means that predicting
the outcomes of all actions is impossible, and a decision of
no-action (not actively managing ﬁre) is also a manage-
ment decision with consequences.
In Brazil, for example, the past decades of ‘zero-ﬁre’
policies in protected areas of the Cerrado (savanna) biome
have commonly led to large ([50 000 ha) areas being
consumed by wildﬁres in several hours or a few days
(Barradas 2017). Similarly, Canaima National Park in
Venezuela has been subject to increasingly larger ﬁres,
reaching 32 000 ha in a single dry season, fuelled by high
accumulation of dry combustible materials (Bilbao et al.
2010). The human and ﬁnancial resources mobilized to try
to control such wildﬁres exceed several times the protected
areas’ annual budget. The detrimental consequences of
such wildﬁres should therefore be compared to the poten-
tial beneﬁts of smaller, controlled ﬁres started with the
intention to create a burning mosaic that helps avoid
wildﬁre propagation. For that, managers should be allowed
to perform ﬁre management considering uncertainty, and
the fact that all species and/or effects will not be known in
these highly diverse ecosystems.
Acknowledging that traditional groups from different
localities have in-depth contextual knowledge on ﬁre
management (Mistry et al. 2005; Bilbao et al. 2010; Welch
2015; Eloy et al. 2017), new ﬁre management policies in
Brazil and Venezuela are attempting to incorporate TEK
into their processes and techniques. In Brazil, for example,
elders from local communities are engaged to produce ﬁre
calendars that form part of the prescribed burning plans. In
some instances, where the traditional practices of ﬁre
management were lost, for example in the Indigenous
territory of the Xerente, Brazil, institutions are ‘rescuing’
TEK to reapply it for conservation purposes (Falleiro et al.
2016). A national ﬁre management policy currently being
drafted in Brazil aims to explicitly include TEK and its
adaptive capacity to address current and future environ-
mental challenges. In Venezuela, the indigenous Pemo
communities of Canaima National Park have been involved
in joint ecological experiments as a process of strength-
ening and regaining ﬁre TEK, as well as consulting and
learning from elders on ﬁre calendars and ancestral prac-
tices. Improved dialogue between communities and insti-
tutions has led to a greater receptiveness by the Pemo
exchange and share their knowledge. The new ﬁre man-
agement plan for the Park will consider both traditional,
technical and scientiﬁc knowledge to decide where, when
and how to set ﬁres, as well as include formal agreements
between communities, EDELCA, INPARQUES and the
Ministry of Science and Technology (Bilbao et al. 2017).
These developments in ﬁre policy and associated pro-
grammes are signiﬁcant, and government institutional
advocacy for greater intercultural and participatory ﬁre
management must be recognized. At the same time, further
improvements in the process of involving traditional
communities could lead to better outcomes for all. At the
multi-stakeholder meeting on ﬁre management in Brasilia
in 2017, we (the authors) asked the indigenous and tradi-
tional community representatives, scientists, environmental
managers and government ofﬁcials, to reﬂect on the fol-
lowing: What is participation? How is this viewed and
implemented by different actors? How could the formation
of ofﬁcial brigades affect the dynamics of collective ﬁre
management in the communities? Who makes the deci-
sions? How can conservation institutions and local com-
munities interact to improve ﬁre governance? How can ﬁre
management be a community owned solution? How can
ﬁre management be integrated into people’s everyday
activities and livelihoods? How can indigenous and sci-
entiﬁc knowledge work together for more effective ﬁre
In the current policies, local community meetings are
central to the ﬁre management programmes. However, staff
from environmental institutions are not trained nor used to
consider TEK to deﬁne or apply environmental policies,
exacerbated by the perception that TEK is something of the
past, static, without technical value and not responsive to
current and future challenges. In parallel, local communi-
ties have no valid reason to believe or collaborate with
institutions that have marginalized their knowledge and
practices for so long. Therefore, when these meetings are
performed, participation seems to be more of a ‘consulta-
tion’ where TEK is seen as a source of information that can
be incorporated into institutionalized processes, thus
(re)establishing hierarchical relationships where
ÓThe Author(s) 2018
environmental managers’ technical decisions are worth
more than local peoples’ opinions.
This can be made worse by the increasing dependency
on geospatial technologies and global science metrics
(emissions) (Sletto 2008; Mistry and Bizerril 2011;Car-
menta et al. 2013). In the well-documented Australian case,
large-scale burning often implemented by helicopters and
technicians, increased a sense of disengagement of Abo-
riginal people from their territory (Eriksen and Hankins
2014; Fache and Moizo 2015; Petty et al. 2015; Perry et al.
2018). Furthermore, to date, local participation in pre-
scribed burning schemes has come mostly in the form of
professionalized, and to some extent, militarized, rangers/
brigades. Brazil, for example, has invested in ‘community-
run’ brigades since the mid-2000s. Although these ﬁre
brigades are used as a way to ‘integrate’ TEK and scientiﬁc
knowledge about ﬁre management, the technical training
and the fact that people are hired speciﬁcally to manage ﬁre
could move practices away from collective governance (a
norm in many traditional communities) to individual
actions, discouraging members of the wider community
from taking responsibility for wise ﬁre management and
maintaining the subordination of local practices to those of
external experts (Mistry et al. 2016).
As seen in the Australian case, institutionalized ﬁre
management programmes risk turning local communities
to beneﬁciaries of a service, rather than promoting self-
determination and responsibility for the management of the
land they live in (Eloy et al. 2016,2017). With a focus on
early dry season burning to protect against late dry season
wildﬁres, the policies fail to recognize that traditional ﬁre
management is characterized by multiple, and sometimes
opportunistic, burning throughout the year linked to vari-
ous social, ecological and spiritual purposes, which pro-
duce the mosaic landscapes to help buffer the impacts of
climate variability and maintain biodiversity (Bilbao et al.
2009,2010; Laris et al. 2016). In addition, incorporating
local uses of ﬁre for productive activities such as swidden
agriculture and livestock grazing can represent a challenge,
since these ﬁres frequently depend on late dry season ﬁres
which are generally perceived as ‘bad’ ﬁres (Eloy et al.
Reﬂecting on Aboriginal ﬁre management in northern
Australia, Petty et al. (2015) suggest that ‘‘it is inherent in
the nature of institutionalized management programs to
replace the complexity and contingency of indigenous ﬁre
management with standardized goals’’ (p. 140). We see this
happening in Brazil.
Preliminary evidence from the Inte-
grated Fire Management (IFM) programme in Brazil shows
a small decrease in total burned area, but a signiﬁcant
reduction in the percentage of late dry season emissions,
which is one of the main goals of the programme in the
three protected areas (Fig. 1). Since emissions from ﬁres
account for 28% of land use emissions, this reduction is
now strategic for the Brazilian government and included in
its 2016 National Emission Inventory. However, there is
considerable uncertainty on the impacts of early dry season
burning on ﬁre intensity and biodiversity (Oliveira et al.
2015; Laris et al. 2016). Long-term experiments from the
Gran Sabana, Venezuela have shown a higher daily vari-
ability in ﬁre behaviour associated with weather conditions,
ﬁne fuel load and wind velocity, compared to along the dry
season (Bilbao et al. 2006,2009,2010). Likewise, the
general pattern of plant cover and biomass recovering from
pre-ﬁre conditions revealed higher and faster rates from
middle dry season burns compared to early and late burns
(Bilbao et al. 2009). A switch, therefore, from late to early
dry season burning requires much greater local level
assessments of above ground biomass, burn severity, fuel
burn completeness, and GHG emissions in order to provide
evidence for its efﬁcacy towards improving savanna man-
agement and supporting local productive activities.
Achieving emissions reductions goals has led to a nar-
rative of and investment in ‘alternatives to the use of ﬁre’
within the IFM programme. This is justiﬁed by arguments
that traditional ﬁre knowledge has been or soon will be lost
so other solutions are needed, that ﬁre-free methods are
more ‘modern’, productive and a way out of poverty, and
that carbon emissions from agriculture and grazing could
be reduced by ﬁre-free farming and grazing techniques.
However, these approaches can only reinforce the idea that
traditional uses of ﬁres are obsolete, indicating that
advancing ﬁre management policies requires not only
technical and ecological information, but also much more
work on changing preconceptions and the dominant insti-
tutional discourses about ﬁre use.
TOWARDS BETTER INTERCULTURAL
Recent meetings in Parupa, Venezuela and in Brasilia,
Brazil facilitated by the authors and involving local com-
munity representatives, scientists, ﬁre/environmental man-
agers and government ofﬁcials, have shown the importance
of bridging local, technical and scientiﬁc understandings of
ﬁre and its governance (Rodrı
´guez et al. 2013a,b; Mistry
However, note that in Venezuela, over the past few years, there has
been signiﬁcant commitment and understanding from the Forest
Fireﬁghters of INPARQUES about the role and importance of TEK,
and they have encouraged and promoted full participation of the
´n in ﬁre management.
The following observations are derived from presentations made at
˜o project meeting in Brasilia in November 2017.
123 ÓThe Author(s) 2018
and Berardi 2016). These events have allowed collabora-
tive and reﬂective dialogue on policy and practice, an
opportunity for learning across different communities, as
well as between communities and institutions. We argue
that supporting processes for integrating multiple per-
spectives through an ‘intercultural interface’ of institutions
and knowledge systems (Goldman et al. 2011; Howitt et al.
¨et al. 2014) is critical as Brazil and Venezuela
transition towards more participatory forms of ﬁre man-
agement and governance. This can be done through:
– training decision-makers and PA managers in partici-
patory methods that encourage engagement with, and
appreciation of, indigenous and traditional perspectives
and practices of ﬁre management. For example, in a
recent workshop focused on the management of
Canaima National Park, we facilitated training for
scientists and government agencies on participatory
video and community owned solutions approaches to
working with indigenous communities.
– legitimizing and strengthening indigenous and tradi-
tional ﬁre management as a community owned solution
grounded in local social–ecological systems. For
example, promoting regional participatory workshops
and ﬁeld experiments could help understand ﬁre
behaviour, ﬁre propagation and local productive ﬁre
uses, and how they could be more effectively included
in ﬁre management programmes. We are promoting
this in the Jalapa
˜o savanna region regarding the burning
of ﬁre-sensitive wet grasslands. These areas are simul-
taneously targeted for ﬁre management by local
Figure 1 Maps of burn scars according to ﬁre season in the three protected areas of IFM implementation in the Brazilian savanna from 2014 to
2016. JSP Jalapao State Park, SGTES Serra Geral do Tocantins Ecological Station, CMNP Chapada das Mesas National Park. Prepared by
Ludivine Eloy (we used burn scars data from the Brazilian Institute of Space Research (INPE) (https://prodwww-queimadas.dgi.inpe.br/aq30m/),
with a 30-m resolution produced from Landsat imagery. Using ArcGIS software, we compiled all the shapes of burn scars from 2014 to 2016,
dividing data between three periods: early, modal and late, with at least three sets of data per period (early dry season: 16th October–15th July;
mid dry season: 16th July–15th August; late dry season: 16th September–15th October). We adopted ICMBio’s periods and classiﬁcation for ﬁre
ÓThe Author(s) 2018
communities for plant harvesting and cattle raising, and
by landscape managers for protecting ﬁre-sensitive
riparian forests. Finding common ﬁre management
practices of these wet grasslands can improve produc-
tive practices, conserve biodiversity and reduce
– creating spaces for continual multi-stakeholder conver-
sations about ﬁre management, where different per-
spectives and experiences can be shared, and where
action plans to improve ﬁre management can be co-
developed. Actions have to be aimed at encouraging
indigenous and traditional communities more auton-
omy with respect to implementing policies, including
the leadership and funding of ﬁre management pro-
grammes. In Venezuela, a plan for joint training
between the Pemo
´n indigenous community of Kava-
´n, Canaima National Park and Forest Fireﬁghters
of INPARQUES is underway. Elders of the Kavanaye
community will share their knowledge and train forest
ﬁreﬁghters on ancestral practices, and in turn ﬁreﬁght-
ers will train young Pemo
´n on ﬁre combat techniques
used to control accidental wildﬁres. Prescribed ﬁres
will be jointly planned, implemented and evaluated,
and indigenous representatives hope to share their
experiences with other indigenous communities in the
Brazil and Venezuela, two countries where ﬁre man-
agement has been highly contested, have undergone a
major paradigm shift in their approaches to ﬁre manage-
ment. Despite the progressive nature of these policies, it is
critical that we build a collective adaptive learning envi-
ronment in which we can experiment and monitor ﬁre
management methods and interventions while giving an
equal footing to scientiﬁc and local knowledge as valid
systems of information that can be used for ﬁre gover-
nance. Only by working hand in hand, can we prevent
frequent catastrophic wildﬁres and maintain local com-
munities’ livelihoods and cultures that help to protect
highly threatened ﬁre-prone ecosystems.
Acknowledgements We thank all the participants of the meetings in
Parupa and Brasilia, the communities of the Jalapa
(Mateiros, Tocantins State), IBAMA, ICMBio, Naturatins in Brazil,
´n indigenous people from Kavanaye
´n, Forest Fire-ﬁghters of
INPARQUES and Parupa Scientiﬁc Station (CVG) in Venezuela for
welcoming us and taking part in the research. Thanks to the two
reviewers for their insightful comments that greatly helped to improve
the paper. In Brazil, this study was funded by Gesellschaft fu
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through the ‘‘Cerrado Jalapa
Project. LE received research Grant from the CAPES through the
ˆncias sem fronteiras Fronteiras’’ Program (Grant Number
88881.068021/2014-01). JM and BB were supported by the British
Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme (Ref.
PM130370) and the Woodspring Trust, UK, and Venezuelan
FONACIT Risk and Apo
¨k Projects (Ref. 2011000376 and
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Jayalaxshmi Mistry (&) is a Professor of Environmental Geography
at Royal Holloway University of London. Her research interests
include environmental governance, ﬁre management, bridging
indigenous and scientiﬁc knowledge systems, and participatory
Address: Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of
London, Egham, Surrey TW200EX, UK.
Isabel Belloni Schmidt is an Assistant Professor at the University of
Brasilia. Her research interests include sustainable use and manage-
ment of Cerrado native areas, especially ﬁre management and plant
Address: Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade de Brası
Box 04457, Brası
´lia, DF CEP 70910-900, Brazil.
Ludivine Eloy is a Researcher in Geography at the French National
Centre for Scientiﬁc Research (CNRS) and Invited Researcher at
University of Brasilia. Her research interests include traditional
resource management practices and their interfaces with environ-
mental norms, agrobiodiversity and agricultural landscapes dynamics
Address: National Center for Scientiﬁc Research (CNRS), UMR 5281
ART-DEV, Paul Vale
´ry University, 34090 Montpellier, France.
Address: Centro de Desenvolvimento Sustenta
´vel, Campus Univer-
´rio Darcy Ribeiro Gleba A Universidade de Brası
´lia - Asa Norte,
´lia, DF 70910-900, Brazil.
Bibiana Bilbao is a Professor at Simo
´var University. Her
research interests include ecology of tropical savannas and human-
modiﬁed lands, and integration of ecological and indigenous knowl-
edge for sustainable and participatory management plans, especially
ﬁre and natural resource management.
Address: Departamento de Estudios Ambientales, Universidad Simo
´var, Apartado 89000, Caracas 1080, Venezuela.
123 ÓThe Author(s) 2018