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Wildfires in Algeria: problems and challenges

Ouahiba Meddour-Sahar   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 6, Pages 818-826 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1279-007
Published: Mar 25, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles


In the scenario of the Mediterranean area, where about 54 000 fires and 0.4 million hectares of forest are burned and annually registered (2006-2010), the rank for Algeria is non-negligible with 4.11 million hectares of forest. The annual number of fires and the size of area burned depict a critical situation, which became rather dramatic in 2012. Climate change projections and the estimated changes to wildfire risk for the future decades (2030-2060) indicate that the entire Maghreb region, including Algeria, will be among the most affected areas of the Mediterranean. Longer fire seasons will be experienced and extended by an additional month with each passing year. Despite Algeria’s recent investments in technical means for controlling forest fires, the current suppression-oriented model seems unable to cope with such a phenomenon. Furthermore, the model is unfit in view of the approaching scenario, when fire-exclusion policies need to be complemented with fuel-reduction techniques and fire prevention management. This study aims to establish an understanding of the context and public policy issues related to wildfire management in Algeria. Data were collected by distributing questionnaires to foresters with the objective of identifying obstacles and constraints hindering the efficacy of pro-active measures. Analysis of the data gathered indicates that Algerian foresters are well aware of the importance of prevention, contrasting with current governmental policies that are predominantly oriented towards improving the technical extinction apparatus. A SWOT analysis suggests possible strategic options for improving the efficiency of wildfire control by building on strengths, eliminating weaknesses, exploiting opportunities, and mitigating threats. The results of this study may be adapted to other countries with similar problems as those of Algeria.

  Keywords


Algeria, Forest Fires, MENA, Prevention Policy, SWOT Analysis

Authors’ address

(1)
Ouahiba Meddour-Sahar
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University Mouloud Mammeri, Box 17 RP, 15000 Tizi Ouzou (Algeria)

Corresponding author

 
Ouahiba Meddour-Sahar
o.sahar@yahoo.fr

Citation

Meddour-Sahar O (2015). Wildfires in Algeria: problems and challenges. iForest 8: 818-826. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1279-007

Academic Editor

Davide Ascoli

Paper history

Received: Mar 04, 2014
Accepted: Dec 10, 2014

First online: Mar 25, 2015
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2015
Publication Time: 3.50 months

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