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Combining Participatory Mapping and Geospatial Analysis Techniques to Assess Wildfire Risk in Rural North Vietnam

Andrea Bartolucci is Assistant Professor at Institute of Security and Global Affairs. In this study, the scholars adopted a multidisciplinary approach to investigate wildfire risk in Van Chan district in northern Vietnam, a region where official data are sometimes difficult to collect or inconsistent.

Andrea Bartolucci, Michele Marconi, Michele Magni, Roberto Pierdicca, Francesco Malandra, Tien Chung Ho, Alessandro Vitali & Carlo Urbinati
21 January 2022
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Participatory mapping (PM) is a valuable research tool for assessing fire risk, especially in regions where data are difficult to collect or inconsistent; in such areas, the integration between crowdsourced data and geospatial techniques plays a fundamental role in gathering more consistent and reliable information. This study combines a participatory (community-based) mapping approach with geospatial techniques to assess fire risk in Van Chan district, northern Vietnam, an area where the economy relies mainly on forestry activities. Local stakeholders designed a map of wildfires, which was modelled as a function of a set of physical and socio-economic variables. A fire-probability map of the district was obtained and compared with MODIS data (2000–2020). The results suggest that higher fire probability occurs in areas with lower human pressure, and they provide information on related socio-economic drivers that affect this phenomenon. This study highlights the importance of combining participatory approaches and geospatial techniques to assess fire dynamics and prevent wildfires in terms of understanding and predicting the risks. The involvement of local communities is fundamental to this innovative participatory approach with regard to better supporting decision-making and prevention actions and to developing fire control management guidelines.

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