EUROPEAN FOREST FIRE NETWORKS
Start date: Sep 30, 2010,
End date: Sep 29, 2012
The protection of the world´s environment cannot be effective without national and international fire management for natural, semi-natural and cultural landscapes and ecosystems for they constitute an essential part of the habitable land and the functioning of the global system. As fires do not respect national borders, the fight against fire requires a close cooperation with the national, regional and local authorities. After the 2003 disastrous summer, 9 Mediterranean regions decided to cooperate in a RFO INCENDI within the framework of IIIC South.The subproject results added to the fruitful cooperation made it possible to create a successful framework for the continuity of the cooperation with an aim of capitalizing the results of the first project.The Greek tragedy during three consecutive summers reinforced the partnership convictions of the need for continuing the cooperation explaining in the project the strong representativity of the Greek regions affected by the disaster.We have to keep in mind that the Region of Western Greece was experienced a tremendous catastrophe : 64 people dead and 200 000 hectares destroyed at the end of August 2007. Facing the disaster, the european community mobilized itself. It was efficient, but not sufficient however that confirmed that an effective co-operation could be an answer to this ecological plague. Starting from this "black" period, the Union of Attica Municipalities with the support of their region decided to lead a capitalization project about the risk management of forest fire gathering 13 partners representing 8 Member States.Within the EU territory, the competences on the management of forest fires are very different according to the Member States: this competence can be completely under the responsibility of the State (as it is the case for France, Poland, the Slovak Republic, the United Kingdom for example), under the responsibility of the Regions (Spain, Greece) or under shared responsibilities......between the State, the Regions and the Provinces (Italy) or mixed between forest private owners and municipalities (Denmark). It is why the institutional portrait of our partnership is very varied and reflects this diversity of competences.The partners have identified as top priority 5 good practices gathering in 3 thematics to develop during the two years of duration. These thematics and good practices are :a) Strategy of intervention (1-Interventions on starting fires, techniques of intervention)b) Innovative Technologies/Cartography (2-Training with simulation tools; 3-Strategies of territory’s surveillance, detection and prevention, 4-Cartography of risk,hazard)c) Restoration of burnt spaces (5-Technical restoration process of burnt territories).The objectives and the results will be presented during 2 conferences (kick-off and final) where existing forest fires networks, policy makers, stake holders and EC representatives will be invited. Achievements: The main objective of the European Forest Fire Network- “EUFOFINET”- project is the transfer of good practices in order to improve national and/or regional policies on both forest fires risk prevention and management. In this framework concrete knowledge transfer will take place between all project partners, featuring feasibility and integration of the “imported elements” to their regional policy. The five good practices identified are: 1. Intervention on starting fires, 2. Training on simulations tools, 3. Strategies of territories, detection, 4. Cartography or risk, hazard, 5. Technical restoration of burnt territories. Project started with a kick-off meeting in Athens on Dec.2010 hosted by PEDA as Leadpartner. The technical activities started on May 2011 in Valabre (France) where ONF hosted the 1st good practice workshop (WS) about restoration of burnt territories (23 people were present). In each partner country, restoration techniques are now under control and have been improved…… thanks to studies and feedback conducted on past achievements, accumulated experience and transmitted through years. During the 2d WS on Sept.2011 in Denmark where Frederikssund FRS hosted the good practice WS: prevention plan on starting fires (35 people) where an interesting point to focus on was multi-agency working to share the competencies of different partner organizations involved in prevention. During the 3d WS in Valabre (France) on Nov.2011 hosted by Entente, partners (29 people) were shared strategies and methodology of work using the simulation like training tool in real situation. The simulator creates situations of emergencies. The 4th WS in León (Spain) on Feb.2012 hosted by CESEFOR was to work around cartography of risks using GIS technologies. The partners (67 people) presented their experience. Other European projects participated in the meeting: IVC "EFFMIS" and IVB SUDOE "PYROSUDOE”. Another aim was to advance on a European forest fires prevention network.During..the last day of the WS, an open Forum was the dialogue space where a proposal of the creation of a European Forest Fire Prevention Network was presented. This action, one of the planned activities of EUFOFINET project, is identified as a need from different fields of forest fire fighting. During the first part representatives of FAO,the Joint Research Centre, Lead partners of six related European projects and the hosting regional partner, Junta de Castilla y León (Spain), presented their perspectives.The main objective of the Network is to put prevention policies, based on the causes and underlying factors of fires, at the forefront of the strategies to fight against forest fire. The point is to gather,together into a network, institutions that perform preventive actions on the ground or are connected with it. In particular, those that integrate prevention into land management in a broad sense.Working on this way, the partners will go forward thinking how the network should be created.The 5th WS in Morpeth (UK) on March 2012 hosted by Northumberland was to work and to compare strategies of intervention (suppression tactics). During the WS (55 people), EUFOFINET delegates and representatives invited from other fire and rescue service in the UK, Portugal and USA have discussed a number of suppression tools and techniques that have been developed during the last decade. For this good practice, seven partners were donors and eleven were recipients.For the last WS in Zvolen (Slovakia) on May 2012 hosted by NFC where 45 people were present. In conclusion, all partners use detection systems for monitoring whether human or camera. Concerning the camera monitoring, there are two types of detection and monitoring system, one is terrestrial system based on monitoring from ground monitoring stations with video or infrared cameras or, this is the system more used in Europe and the other one is based on satellite system (i.e using in very large landscape as Canada and Siberia).
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