Everyyear, some 45,000 forest fires break out in Europe. In the summer of 2003 morethan half a million hectares of woodland was destroyed by fire acrossMediterranean Europe. Fires cause considerable damage in terms of loss of lifeand in environmental terms through the destruction of fauna and flora.
Theyalso have serious economic implications: destruction of habitats, forest damage,costs of firefighting, and so on. According to the European Commission, eachhectare of forest lost to fire costs Europes economy between 1,000 and 5,000.
Firefighting is a complicated business. The challenge is to understand the behaviourof fire and to give decision-makers, technicians, and firemen the tools toenable them to act with the necessary effectiveness and speed.
The County Administrative Board of Västernorrland,Sweden, is during 2006-2007 managing a project called Safety and RescueRegion. This project together with Innovation Relay Centre Northern Sweden isorganizing this workshop with the aim to let players in the area of detectionand supervision of forest fires meet and exchange thoughts and ideas and therebycreate important future cooperations for development in this field.
TheGFMC will deliver a keynote address Sweden and the neighbouring Nordic countries as partners in the UNISDRBaltic Wildland Fire Network and the UNSIDR Global Wildland Fire Network.