Baltic Exercise for Fire Information and Resources Exchange (BALTEX FIRE 2000)
Kuopio, Finland, 5-9 June 2000
The common Baltic forest fire initiative has been initiated in the mid-1990s by the UN-ECE/FAO/ILO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire which operates on behalf of the Joint UN-ECE/FAO/ILO Committee on Forest Technology, Management and Training and coordinates its work through the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC).
The UN-ECE/FAO/ILO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire is promoting a cooperative approach of the nations bordering the Baltic Basin to share fire management expertise and resources. At the ECE/FAO/ILO Conference on Forest, Fire and Global Change (Russia 1996) and the First International Baltic Conference on Forest Fire (Poland 1998) the Team has proposed to set up pan-Baltic programs and exchange mechanisms encompassing fire research, fire management training, the use of prescribed fire (in forestry, nature conservation, and landscape management), and mutual fire emergency assistance.
As a consequence, the UN Fire Team established a Baltic Forest Fire Task Force which is chaired by Finland. Finland therefore was host of BALTEX FIRE 2000.
BALTEX FIRE 2000 is considered as a contribution to the Baltic 21 Action Programme which is an initiative for the application of the Agenda 21 in the Baltic Sea Region and includes the Baltic 21 Action Programme on Forests. This programme is in line with:
The UN Conference on Environment and Development UNCED (Rio 1992): Forest Principles and the Agenda 21, Chapter 11 on “Combating Deforestation and other”;
The Intergovernmental Panel on Forest (IPF, 1995‑1997); and
The Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe (Strasbourg 1990, Helsinki 1993, Lisbon 1998).
BALTEX FIRE 2000 was organized in line with the objectives of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) which constitutes the follow-up arrangement of the UN International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). The meeting and exercise included the participation of an international group of wildland fire and industrial fire specialists which prepares the formation of an advisory group under the UN International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) scheme. This group will support the United Nations in coordinating and implementing international response to forest and other wildland fire emergencies worldwide.
Since only a limited reports were published in the Special Issue of International Forest Fire News (No. 24, April 2001): Report and Special Issue on the Baltic Region, the complete set of papers delivered to the conference organization are given below: