The protection of the world environment cannot be effective without national and international fire management policies for natural, semi-natural and cultural landscapes and ecosystems that constitute an essential part of the habitable land and the functioning of the global system. National and international policies must be designed to meet both the specific local and the common global threats from wildfires and excessive application of fire in land-use change. These policies must be developed cooperatively with all the stakeholders involved in the protection of the environment and humanity.
A series of International Wildland Fire Conferences was initiated in the late 1980s aimed at bringing together both the technical members of the fire community and the authorities concerned with policy and national practices in wildland fire management to realise their common interests of wildland fire risk management and disaster reduction at local, national, regional and global scales.
During the International Wildland Fire Summit, held in Sydney, Australia, on 8 October 2003, the invitation presented by the representatives of Spain to organize and host the 4th International Wildland Fire Conference in 2007, was accepted.
The first general announcement of the Conference was presented at the 17th Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry, Rome, 15 March 2005, and at the 5th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, New York, 18 May 2005. The Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) at its 12th Session (22 November 2005) welcomed the proposal that the 4th International Wildland Fire Conference (Madrid, May 2007) be held under the auspices of ISDR and FAO.
Building on the objectives and outputs of the previous International Wildland Fire Conferences (Boston 1989, Vancouver 1997, Sydney 2003), the objectives of the 4th Conference will be to:
Provide a forum for forest fire management leaders, politicians, professionals, researchers and practitioners from throughout the globe to discuss and work on critical fire issues affecting people, communities, resources and ecosystems in all Regions and work on a cooperative way in the consolidation of a Global Wildland Fire Management Strategy.
Strengthen the effectiveness of the Regional Wildland Fire Networks and support their links into the UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network
Provide a forum for the fire management industry, research organizations and fire specialists to display innovations, new technologies, products and methods for wildland fire management and interact with the Conference participants.
Global change and wildland fire risk
Civil society and wildland fire
Public administration / local communities: Models of organizations for wildland fire management
Forestry, ecology, biodiversity, societal needs: the keys of wildland fire prevention and management
Wildland Fire Information: A basic tool for the Global Strategy
Fire at the wildland/residential and urban interfaces
Cost-efficiency in wildland fire management (prevention, preparedness, suppression)
Recovery and restoration of burned areas
International cooperation and policies: Representatives of the Regional Wildland Fire Networks discuss the International Fire Management Code and the Global Strategy to Enhance International Cooperation in Wildland Fire Management.
General issue for all Networks: General reports from the regions (what are the main issues and problems in the regional wildland fire arena) and proposals for a Global Strategy of Cooperation in Wildland Fire Management
Specific suggested issues for regional presentations:
Latin America (Mesoamerica, Caribbean and South America): Underlying causes of fire use and wildfires
Australia and North America: Standardisation in fire management, a key for cooperation.
European Union, Mediterranean and Balkans: Standardisation in fire management, a key for cooperation. Development of bilateral and multilateral agreements on cooperation in wildland fire management.
Russia, Central Asia, Northeast Asia. Countries in transition: Problems in wildland fire management as a consequence of recent socio-economic developments, decentralization and institution building.
South / Southeast Asia: Experiences in community-based fire management. Prospects of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.
Subsaharan Africa (savannas, tropical forests). Implications of civil wars, poverty and AIDS on sustainable land use and fire management.
The hosts and organizers of the Conference are the Ministry of Environment and the Junta de Andalucía of Spain, in cooperation with the International Liaison Committee (ILC), sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and the Fire Management Working Group, which was also responsible for organizing the previous three International Wildland Fire Conferences (Boston 1989, Vancouver 1997, Sydney 2003), the Wildland Fire Advisory Group of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the International Association of Wildland Fire.
The Conference will be held under the auspices of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Commission.
ILC: International Liaison Committee Members: Representatives of countries, regions and international organizations. Tasks: International promotion of the Conference, cooperation with the Spains International Liaison Committee (CE) in the role of the Scientific Programme Committee.
CE: Spains National Liaison Committee Members: Representatives of the Ministry of Environment and the Andalusia Regional Government. Tasks: Providing local logistics of the Conference and cooperating with the ILC in the role of the Scientific Programme Committee.
CO: Spains National Organizing Committee Members: Representatives of the Ministry of Environment and the 17 Regional Governments. Tasks: Organization of technical visits and promotion of participation in the Conference from all Regions.
The conference is open to public participation. The conference will be of particular interest to forest fire managers, natural resource managers, politicians, professionals, researchers, and academics. The participation of Regional Wildland Fire Networks members government agencies, non-government organizations, research institutions, industry and other representatives of civil society will contribute to the success of the conference.
The Conference is organized in morning Plenary Sessions, devoted to general global wildland fires issues, and Regional Sessions, devoted to special issues of special interest in the different Regions of the World.
All Plenary and Regional sessions will begin with a 20-minutes presentation by a keynote speaker, introducing the main issue or concern to be addressed in the session; this will be followed by several 10 minutes presentations, and a 20-minutes discussion period.
Concurrently there will be a Dynamic Room, in which a session on forest fires protection innovations will be presented for the benefit of researchers, and government and private sector experts. A Technical Exhibition will run continuously during the Conference where vendors will present new technologies, products, equipments and methods for wildland fire management planning, preparedness and suppression activities.
Several study tours or technical visits of one or more days in duration are planned after the conclusion of the conference. The length of the tour or technical visit will depend on the distance from Seville.
Conference date and venue
14-17 May 2007 Conference and Exhibition Centre of Sevilla, Spain
The conference date will be after the fire season in the Southern Hemisphere and just before the onset in the Northern Hemisphere.
English and Spanish with simultaneous translation.