By Joyce Ojanji

To prevent wildfires from getting worse and faster, a new ‘Fire Ready Formula’ backed by public spending is necessary to minimize the risk of extreme wildfires.

This is according to Inger Andersen, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director.

On humanity’s current course, global warming and land-use change are projected to increase extreme fires by up to 14 per cent by 2030, 30 per cent by the end of 2050 and 50 per cent by the end of the century.

The new formula by UNEP, envisages that 66 percent of spending be devoted to planning, prevention, preparedness and recovery while the remaining 34 per cent can be spent on response to wildfires.

The formula, Andersen says, requires more investment in risk reduction, partnering with local communities and indigenous people to protect their lands and harness their knowledge, strengthening global commitments to slow and adapt to climate change and recognizing the role of high-quality ecosystem restoration.

During the UN climate Conference in Egypt this November (COP27), UNEP will join Member States, UN agencies, the private sector and civil society in calling for enhanced ambition and finance to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

At the same time, UNEP continues to provide the science, tools and assessments to guide evidence-based policy that manages and reduces the impacts of wildfires.