Lorenza Fontana

On Burning Ground: Wildfire Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

Over the past decades, wildfires have been growing in size and frequency worldwide. Humans are mostly responsible of this increase through their impact on climate and land use changes. In this context, the nexus between wildfires, political factors and human actions remains poorly understood. Through a comparative politics approach and a mixed-methods design, this project will produce pioneering knowledge on wildfire politics in Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the world regions most impacted by wildfires. It will also establish new collaborations and expertise that will boost efforts to develop an ambitious research agenda on the global politics of wildfires.

This project if funded by a Leverhulme Trust International Fellowship. It will enable me to build on the results of a recent AHRC-funded project on the Amazon wildfires ‘Playing with Wildfire‘ by expanding the scope of my collaborations and research beyond Latin America. It will also feed into a broader ambitious research agenda involving trans-continental comparative research of wildfire politics across the Global South, which I will develop over the coming years thanks to the ERC-funded project ‘FIREPOL – The Politics of Wildfires’. Given the prevalence of wildfires in Sub-Saharan Africa, gaining expertise and building collaborations in the region is a key step in that direction.