Decolonizing wildfire risk management: indigenous responses to fire criminalization policies and increasingly flammable forest landscapes in Lomerío, Bolivia

Iokine Rodriguez Fernandez, Mirna Inturias, Elmar Masay, Anacleto Peña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on decolonial thought, this article provides a perspective on local indigenous knowledge and governance systems as a resource for informing wildfire risk policy approaches and collaborative environmental security. In 2019, the Indigenous Territory of Lomerío in Bolivia was heavily affected by wildfires, due to a combination of fires that penetrated the territory from outside and others that spread from inside. As result, the Bolivian Forest Management Agency (ABT) started threatening indigenous people with criminal action for using fire in their livelihood practices. In response, in 2020 and with the support of several institutions, the Union of Indigenous Communities of Lomerío (CICOL) initiated a series of activities to ensure local control of wildfire risk management in the territory. These include a written burning protocol, a fire monitoring programme, water basin and forest conservation policies, participatory research conducted by indigenous researchers about the use of fire in Lomerío and cultural revitalization strategies. The article presents the results of these different strategies and their contributions to creating awareness of appropriate regulations for wildfire risk management by national authorities from the perspective of the Monkoxɨ indigenous people.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 May 2023


  • wildfire risk management
  • Bolivia
  • decolonial thought
  • cognitive justice
  • indigenous people

Cite this