Blazing the trail: Social innovation supporting wildfire-resilient territories in Catalonia (Spain)
Rodríguez Fernández-Blanco, Carmen
Górriz Mifsud, Elena
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Mediterranean territories have co-evolved and been shaped by fire throughout history. However, global environmental change conditions are increasing the size, intensity and severity of wildfires, which have gone from a regular natural disturbance to a serious threat for civil protection, surpassing firefighting capacities. Therefore, building resilience in fire-prone territories is an increasingly relevant policy and management objective. However, the notion of resilience has been criticized for paying insufficient attention to key social issues such as socio-political dynamics, power imbalances and societal change. At the same time, social science contributions to wildfire research are still rather limited. In this paper, we bridge social innovation theory to resilience theory in order to create a territorially embedded and socially sensitive framework for assessing socio-ecological resilience. From this perspective, we then examine how Forest Defence Groups (ADFs, by their Catalan acronym) have evolved from grassroots, bottom-up initiatives to well-established bottom-linked institutions and we evaluate their contributions to socio-ecological resilience in the territories where they operate. Our results show that ADFs contribute in several aspects to socio-ecological resilience and that the pave the way for opening up spaces of dialogue and collaboration through which local communities can engage with the issues that directly affect them, such as wildfires.
Is part ofForest Policy and Economics, 2022, vol. 138, p. 102719
European research projects
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