BIBEX was founded in 1990 with the primary mission to:
- Characterize the production of chemically and radiatively important gases and aerosol species resulting from biomass burning
- Assess the consequences of biomass burning on the regional and global scales
- Determine the short and long-term effects of biomass burning on the atmosphere
- Understand the biogeochemical consequences of atmospheric deposition of the products of biomass burning.
BIBEX originally focused on biomass burning in the tropics, but in 1998 it became concentrated towards research on regional and global inventories, including remote sensing of fires, fire ecology, and global fire modeling. BIBEX contributed to the Experiment for Regional Sources and Sinks of Oxidants (EXPRESSO) and Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA). BIBEX involved several campaigns, including: South Tropical Atlantic Regional Experiment (STARE), Fire Research Campaign Asia-North (FIRESCAN), FROSTFIRE, and the South East Asian Fire Experiment (SEAFIRE). STARE formed through combining the Transport and Atmospheric Chemistry near the Equator-Atlantic (TRACE-A) and Southern African Fire/ Atmosphere Research Initiative (SAFARI) activities. STARE was BIBEX’s first large campaign and concentrated on the biomass burnings in the regions of the Amazon basin, the tropical South Atlantic, and southern Africa. FIRESCAN was initiated in 1992 and addressed the role and atmospheric impacts of biomass burning in boreal ecosystems. FROSTFIRE acted in 1999 to investigate fire, climate, permafrost, and hydrology interactions. SEAFIRE held experiments in South-East Asia on the ecological impacts of biomass burning. BIBEX experiments gathered a decade of data that then contributed to the development of further studies on the impact of biomass burning on the atmosphere.