Climate change and forest revegetation influence the growing number of forest fires. Our forests are being burned more frequently and the ecological damage they cause are: loss of biodiversity, destruction of forest area, erosion, destruction of ecosystems and increase of CO2 emissions. The fact that they are becoming larger –350 million hectares burn annually according to FAO– and more frequent increases the vulnerability of citizens living at the interface of urban-forest areas.
The perception of risk and citizens’ resistance to forest fires are vital during an emergency. It determines their thinking and action, which can be key in these situations. Risk management strategies reduce the vulnerability of society by guiding their response to an emergency. It also determines public support for forest management policies and actions that fire prevention and management services carry out.
The level of risk communication and social communication tools being promoted in the Mediterranean countries, seek to place communication at the same level of priority as other forest fire management tools. The goal is to promote and increase the sensitization of citizens, and their participation in the culture of risk with updated knowledge and best practices.
These practices improve through sharing experiences and lessons learned. Social awareness and participation in the risk culture will increase individual capacity to prevent these emergencies. It is important to accept and include the target public as an ally, and to be informed, involved, interested, reflective and predisposed to cooperate.
Xuksa Kramcsak Muñoz
Communicator with 7 years of experience, with undergraduate training in journalism and communication at the Universidad de Concepción in Chile, and a postgraduate degree in strategic communication in the same city. At the moment she is studying a PhD degree in Social Communication at the Pompeu Fabra University, with specialization in the area of scientific communication, and received a scholarship of the Carolina Foundation Spain.
Her research interest lies in the fields of environmental education and scientific communication. She works as a Communications Officer of the Faculty of Sciences Foresters of the University of Concepción, she is part of the Chilean Association of Journalists Scientists –ACHIPEC. Furthermore, she is a volunteer of the El Árbol Foundation, an organization that ensures education in the city of Concepción, and responsable for the press material of Lignum Magazine in Chile.
A voice from the Triangulation through Science Communication project.