Community, collaborative and participatory approaches in wildfire risk management

Fostering collective action by the community and by relevant stakeholders for the community to achieve effective Wildfire risk reduction.


Addressing the challenges posed by Extreme Wildfire Events requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach to wildfire risk management. However, there is a significant problem in establishing and implementing effective collaborative and participatory strategies. Inadequate engagement of stakeholders, limited information sharing, and fragmented decision-making processes hinder the development and implementation of holistic and community-driven approaches to wildfire risk reduction. 

Why the Problem exists?

The problem of insufficient collaborative and participatory approaches in wildfire risk management arises from several factors. Traditional top-down decision-making processes often exclude the perspectives and knowledge of local communities, leading to ineffective and disengaged risk reduction strategies. Fragmented governance structures, overlapping jurisdictions, and a lack of communication and coordination among relevant agencies and stakeholders further contribute to the problem. Additionally, limited awareness and understanding of wildfire risks and mitigation strategies among the public hinder active participation and collective action. 

Looking for solutions that completely or partially solve the following:

  • Foster meaningful engagement and collaboration among all relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, local communities, landowners, nonprofit organisations, and indigenous groups. 
  • Empower communities to actively participate in wildfire risk management. 
  • Exchange of timely and accurate wildfire-related information among agencies, communities, and stakeholders. 


  • Ensure all perspectives and knowledge are valued and integrated into wildfire risk management strategies. 
  • Enable better coordination, decision-making, and communication during wildfire events, enhancing the effectiveness of risk management efforts. 
  • Building local capacity enhances the ability of communities to participate in risk reduction efforts and implement effective strategies actively. 
  • Inclusive and transparent governance structures that facilitate collaboration and participation among stakeholders at various levels. 
  • Education and awareness campaigns to promote understanding of wildfire risks, mitigation strategies, and the importance of collaborative approaches. 


  • Institutional and cultural barriers to collaboration and participation. 
  • Balancing diverse stakeholder interests and priorities in decision-making. 
  • Equitable engagement and representation of all communities. 

Fire Management Phase(s)

Prevention & Preparedness;

Living Labs

Germany – The Netherlands Living LabChile Living Lab.

Voice of the Living Lab(s)

  “According to Rejeski (1993), discussions around risk include three primary groups: scientists, policymakers, and the public. While scientists form their opinion through rational processes and policymakers base it on multiple qualitative and quantitative sources of information, the public base it on their perspectives of circumstances despite data provided by the other two groups. Therefore, he asserts that trust among the three groups is critical to achieving a shared view of risk and encourages using more participatory processes and dialogues. He suggests tools that visualise scientific data concerning a hazard that provides a point of access to meaningful discussion (Pine-John, 2014). Participatory approaches have evolved and its applications expanded significantly the last decades. For example, the application of experiential learning through game-based methods is broadly documented in the field of education with positive learning outcomes (Stanitsas, 2019). We suggest, based on Stanitsas (2019) and Terpstra (2014), that: 

  • Public participatory engagement can become the means to integrate a nature-fire risk culture in modern society, which comes with a focus on building trust between actors and on raising awareness and motivation for taking actions to mitigate the impacts of hazards (see Wachinger et al., 2013).
  • Public participatory engagement can be involved in DRR practices to create curiosity among individuals and collaborate with other institutions or related centers“.

Germany – The Netherlands Living Lab

 “Although several initiatives on prevention issues are being developed in Chile, a lack of unification and coordination of the relevant actors can be identified, whether public or private, both at the national and regional level, as well as territorial “.

Chile Living Lab

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