In this free course Wildfires: environmental and social entanglements you have seen how wildfires are becoming an increasingly pressing environmental challenge. You have reflected on the changing role of fire within human history, explored how wildfire differs from other types of fire, and considered the environmental and social benefits and challenges associated with wildfires. You have focused on the wildfires in Greece in 2007, the impact they had, where they were most significant, and why they happened. In particular, you have also used the geographical concept of entanglement to explore how these fires were the product of indivisible related physical, ecological, and social processes. Finally, you have critically reflected on the extent to which Greece is prepared for future wildfires and used recent United Nations recommendations to draw your own conclusions about the most effective ways to manage wildfires in the future.
Wildfires are complex environmental challenges. Caused by the entangled effects of climate change, weather, ecology, land use, human behaviour, and many other factors. Therefore, the risk of wildfires will never be eliminated. However, by approaching wildfires as entanglements you have been able to develop sophisticated approaches to the complex challenges they pose.
Extrapolating out from your application of the concept of entanglement to understand wildfires, you can now use this concept to analyse other global challenges. This will help you assess the complex relationships and co-dependencies that contribute to global challenges. It will also help you to begin to develop sophisticated responses to these complex challenges.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.