Stop the Harmful Forms of Prescribed Burnings!

The international public campaign of the International Socio-Ecological Union







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To raise and discuss in the world community the catastrophic negative consequences of prescribed burning industry considered in the campaign’s position.


The listed problems, i.e. the catastrophic negative consequences of the harmful forms of prescribed burning for biodiversity, natural ecosystems, climate, soils, natural water, public health and economy, which can be definitely assumed based on the characteristics of their implementation, should be formulated, investigated, recognized and discussed in society (through the statements of well-known scientists, responsible officials, the involvement of the press). The possible solutions to these problems should be elaborated and launched.


  • a.The problem of loss of biodiversity, destruction of functionality and degradation of natural ecosystems. . Prescribed burnings destroy the habitats of a huge variety of organisms that live in the grass cover, plant litter, rotting wood and topsoil of natural territories. Most of the organisms living in these tiers of ecosystems die from fire or as a result of the destruction of their habitat with each burning operation. If burnings are conducted regularly (and if the interval between burnings is less than a natural interval between wildfires inherent to the territory), then they can lead to the loss of more than 98% of the biodiversity of the burnt natural areas, destruction of functionality and degradation of their ecosystems. In particular, the process of decomposition of dead organic matter in the ecosystem may slow down or completely stop.

  • b. The problem of soil degradation and pollution . Due to prescribed burning of plant litter and grass cover, soil biota dies, humus and dead organic matter accumulated in soils are partially burned down. This action should inevitably lead to a violation of the process of soil formation and soil degradation. The use of chemicals in large-scale prescribed burning operations inside natural areas inevitably leads to soil pollution.

  • c. The problem of degradation of freshwater ecosystems. . Prescribed burning negatively affects freshwater ecosystems by chemical contamination of water, changes in water acidity, increase of water temperature, siltation of reservoirs and other consequences. This can lead to degradation of aquatic ecosystems, including a reduction in the diversity and abundance of aquatic and near-aquatic fauna.

  • d. The problem of exacerbation of global and local climate change.. A large amount of soot produced by prescribed burnings is transferred with air mass and deposited on the glaciers of the Arctic and Antarctic regions as well as on mountain glaciers, which should cause their melting. The melting of glaciers should exacerbate global and local climate change. The carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere produced by artificial burning also aggravate the problem of global climate change. Without artificial burning, a plant litter decomposes by detritophages and turns into the soil.

  • The problem of the growth of wildfires due to direct and indirect factors of the negative influence of prescribed burning. Different data allow to suggest that prescribed burnings do not help to prevent severe wildfires, but have exactly the opposite effect, they lead to increase of frequency and area of strong wildfires.

  • The problem of pollution of the environment by chemicals and products of burning and harm this to people health. Large-scale prescribed burnings are often conducted by dint of chemicals that pollute of the environment and negatively affect the health of the local people.

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