First International Central Asian Wildland Fire Joint Conference and Consultation
Wildland Fires in Natural Ecosystems of the Central Asian Region: Ecology and Management Implications
Associated with the First Central Asian Forest Fire Experiment 2-6 June 2008, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
The Central Asian region for the last two decades is experiencing an increase in occurrence, area burnt and environmental impacts caused by wildland fires. In most Central Asian countries the damages from wildland fires and the costs of suppression, as well as their influence on human health and wellbeing, are increasing. The scale of wildland fire sometimes has transboundary effects and demands international and cooperative efforts for the solution. Reasons for the escalation of destructive wildfires are, among other, result of the rapidly changing socio-economic conditions, declining public budgets for fire management, and side effects of illegal logging; Projected trends of climate change impacts on vegetation cover and fire regimes, as well as observed demographic and socio-economic trends suggest that wildland fire may continue to play a major role in the destruction of vegetation cover in Central and Northeast Asia, resulting, among other, in accelerating steppization, permafrost thawing and desiccation of peatlands / wetlands. There is no international operational mechanism in the region allowing rapid response to large-scale, catastrophic fires. There is a lack of a comprehensive understanding among fire specialists, policy makers and the general public of the nature and the role of fire in natural ecosystem processes, and in the concepts of fire management.
The First International Central Asian Wildland Fire Conference Wildland Fires in Natural Ecosystems of the Central Asian Region: Ecology and Management Implications (2-6 June 2008, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) addressed the most pressing issues in Mongolia and neighbouring countries. A second component was a consultation of the agencies and other stakeholders involved in fire management in Mongolia. The third element of the conference was devoted to demonstrate advanced techniques in fire management. The conference, demonstration experiment and equipment for the Mongolian partners was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH – Advisory Project “Disaster Risk Management in Development Cooperation” on behalf of the BMZ. The project was implemented by the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), the Pacific Forest Forum (PFF) and partners of the UNISDR Regional Northeast Asia Wildland Fire Network.
For more details on the joint conference & consultation and the demonstration experiment on the use of prescribed fire – see documentation and picture gallery below