Fire and Restoration Management Fund (FOMAFUR)

Capacity building of local organizations in fire management and restoration of affected areas.

The Project

The objective of the Fire and Restoration Management Fund (FOMAFUR, acronym in Spanish) is to finance and strengthen fire protection activities, integrated fire management, and the restoration of areas affected by fire in top priority regions for biodiversity in Mexico.


Fire is one of the most widespread factors of ecological disruption and landscape transformation in the ecosystems of Mexico and the world. Fires are part of the dynamics of ecosystems and are a management tool, as well as a factor of environmental deterioration, depending on the conditions under which they occur.

In 1998, the worst fire season in Mexico occurred, reaching 14,450 fires, the highest number in history, over an area of 850,000 hectares, the second largest ever. In addition to the damage to natural resources in federal protected areas (PAs) and infrastructure, 70 people died due to a lack of technical preparation, equipment, and local organization. As a result, innovations emerged to address this problem, including the Fire Prevention and Restoration Program (PPIRA, acronym in Spanish), a public-private initiative supported by FMCN, the Government of Mexico, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States Forest Service (USFS) and local organizations.

In 2004, through an endowment, FMCN created FOMAFUR to provide permanence to fire management activities. Through biannual calls for proposals aimed at organizations and rural and indigenous communities, FOMAFUR seeks to strengthen and implement current public policies on the conservation of Mexico’s biodiversity and forest ecosystems (General Law for Sustainable Forest Development and the Fire Management Program 2020-2024). FOMAFUR is aligned with international forest fire protection and management trends (United Nations Environment Programme – 2022; Spreading like Wildfire – The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires; A UNEP Rapid Response Assessment; Nairobi).

The lines of work that guide FOMAFUR’s actions are:

    1. Fire prevention and protection, and capacity building to implement strategies to reduce fire danger and negative impacts on PAs and their surrounding areas.
    2. Fire management to conserve and restore fire regimes and reduce negative impacts on biodiversity and its environmental services.
    3. Restoration of burned areas through the recovery of the structure and functions of affected ecosystems.

    In 2004, FMCN created FOMAFUR to give permanence to fire management activities.


    FOMAFUR has supported 108 projects of 54 civil and community organizations to deploy fire protection and fire management actions in 35 PAs and their areas of influence in 16 Mexican states. 

    During the second semester of 2022, eleven projects from the 2021 Call for Proposals were active and continued to strengthen local actors to prevent and manage forest fires. Activities focused on the deployment of communication actions, formation of inter-institutional working groups, development of communication and coordination protocols to address emergencies, preparation of prescribed burning plans, and establishment of plots to monitor the effects of fire.

    Seven of the eleven projects are conducting prescribed burns and testing methodologies to assess the effects of fire in priority ecosystems. The Fire Management Learning Community promotes the exchange of experiences on these topics, identifying actions to strengthen the capacity of individuals and partner organizations so that they can influence decision-making related to fire management in PAs in Mexico.

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    Donor: U.S. Forest Service


    • Division of Forestry Sciences at the Autonomous University of Chapingo
    • Institute of Ecosystems and Sustainability Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico
    • Manantlán Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Guadalajara's South Coast University Center