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.

Context

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 civilian organizations.

In 2004, FMCN created FOMAFUR to provide permanence to fire management activities by allocating a US $4.5 million endowment.

Through biannual calls for proposals aimed at civil organizations and rural and indigenous communities, FOMAFUR seeks to contribute to the strengthening and implementation of 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.

    Achievements

    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 first half of 2022, 11 new projects were launched, enabling and equipping 41 community brigades, most of them in coordination with the National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP, acronym in Spanish), which were active during the most critical forest fire season in Mexico. With support from the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR, acronym in Spanish), 418 brigade members, including 53 women, were trained in fire prevention and firefighting. These community brigades worked to open and maintain firebreaks and, in some cases, participated in direct firefighting.

    Learn more about the project:

    Download
    View

    Allies

    • Comisión Nacional Forestal
    • Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas
    • U.S. Forest Service
    • Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad, UNAM
    • Instituto Manantlán de Ecología y Conservación de la Biodiversidad del Centro Universitario de la Costa Sur, Universidad de Guadalajara
    • División de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo.