Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Research Postgraduate







Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





"Community-based Fire Management": A colonial narrative? 

Abi's PhD research explores whether CBFiM is an extension of the colonial narrative in an East and Southern African savanna context, or whether it provides an alternative and realisable equitable, effective, and sustainable ‘bottom-up’ fire management framework. To do this, Abi is applying systems thinking and decolonising methodologies for an integrated assessment of governance in CBFiM frameworks across East and Southern African savanna protected areas (PAs) and conditional social-ecological fire-related outcomes. She aims to identify the opportunities for, and benefits of, decolonising fire management and institutional frameworks, governance, and political structures for addressing fire challenges across East and Southern Africa's complex social-ecological savanna PAs. 

Abi's research is divided into three main stages ((i) systematic map review, (ii) stakeholder network and (historical) institutional analysis, and (iii)  fieldwork and social-ecological systems modelling (fuzzy cognitive mapping and Bayesian Belief Network)) which are supported by two secondary research questions to guide the investigation:
(I) Does the effectiveness of community-based fire management in savanna PAs across East and Southern Africa differ conditionally on type of governance system?
(II) Can equitable and adaptive governance and policy solutions, based on knowledge co-production and collaborative networks, be realised for addressing fire regimes in changing social-ecological savanna protected areas?

Abi will be carrying out field-work in collaboration with Strathmore University, Kenya, researching the impacts of different colonial and post-independence regimes on traditional fire practices and perceptions. 

Research Poster

Research Poster - Systematic Mapping Review

Abi is affiliated with the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society

Research profile:Community-based Fire Management: A colonial narrative?



Croker AR, Woods J, Kountouris Y, 2023, Community‐based fire management in East and Southern African savanna‐protected areas: a review of the published evidence, Earth's Future, Vol:11, ISSN:2328-4277, Pages:1-18

More Publications