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Fires (areas of concern)

Fire is a natural part of all ecosystems. Wildfires have been burning vegetation and shaping landscapes far longer than people have been on Earth. However, changes in fire frequency and timing can result in degradation if the vegetation is not adapted to the new fire regimes. This can cause long-term damage to land biomass components affecting soil structure, nutrients and water cycling. This layer displays the areas of concern for fires related issues derived from the convergence of global evidence of human-environment interactions that can have consequences on land degradation.

Cherlet, M., Hutchinson, C., Reynolds, J., Hill, J., Sommer, S., von Maltitz, G. (Eds.), World Atlas of Desertification, Publication Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018.


Concerns can be validated or dismissed only by evaluating them within their local biophysical, social, economic and political contexts. Local context provides an understanding of causes and consequences of degradation, but also offers guidance for efforts to control or reverse it.

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