Cammelli, Federico, Emilie Coudel, & Livia Freitas Navegantes-Alves (2019, August). Smallholders’ perceptions of fire in the Brazilian Amazon: Exploring implications for governance arrangements. Human Ecology, 47(4), 601-612. (doi: 10.1007/s10745-019-00096-6)

Abstract: Fires have been on the rise in the Brazilian Amazon for a decade, causing biodiversity loss, carbon emission, and damage to local people’s assets and health. Often blamed as being responsible for starting most of the fires, local farmers are also the main actors involved in fire prevention and firefighting. We explore small-scale farmers’ perceptions of fire and governance arrangements through Q methodology and semi-structured interviews. We find that fire prevention and firefighting are both perceived as collective issues. Lack of engagement in these activities is largely related to fire risk perceptions and its controllability, which depends on local collective action, landscape flammability, and the size of the area of fire contagion. To counter large fires, government action is essential. Policies that are supportive of fire control norms and enabling of firefighting seem more likely to achieve positive results than fire bans.

Federico Cammelli <> is in the School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway.