Participatory multi-criteria evaluation of landscape values to inform wildfire management

J Environ Manage. 2023 Feb 1:327:116762. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.116762. Epub 2022 Dec 1.


Climate change is expected to increase the number of days with meteorological conditions conducive to uncontrollable wildfires. Thus, it is necessary to strengthen the capacity of wildfire-prone regions to minimize the adverse impacts of these wildfires by creating resilient landscapes. In this paper we develop a participatory multi-criteria evaluation to identify and map landscape values and prioritize areas according to these values in the Montseny Biophere Reserve (Catalonia, NE Spain). Then, we draft a wildfire management strategy to protect the areas that have been prioritized through selected fuel reduction sectors that would reduce wildfire intensity. Finally, we emphasize the added value of a participatory multi-criteria evaluation in the adaptation to and management of expected megafires. We find that the integration of landscape values through participatory multi-criteria evaluation has the potential to alter wildfire management strategies by adding fuel reduction sectors and changing their implementation order. However, the implementation of the planned fuel reduction treatments faces socioeconomic and institutional barriers that call for a deeper engagement with transdisciplinary project design and transformative science.

Keywords: Adaptation to risk; Landscape values; Participatory multi-criteria evaluation; Resilience; Wildfire management strategy.

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization
  • Climate Change
  • Spain
  • Wildfires*