REGIONAL CENTRAL ASIA FIRE MANAGEMENT RESOURCE CENTER
Towards Capacitating Fire and Rescue Services in Fire Management and Local Rural Communities in Self-Defense against Wildfires in Central Asia
Over the past two decades Mongolia and the neighbouring Central Asian countries have witnessed a growing number and size of wildfires in forest and steppe ecosystems, predominantly caused by humans, but also by lightning in remote, sparsely populated areas. In conjunction with unsustainable land-use practices, climatic extremes such as extended droughts (as a consequence of regional climate change) and exploitation of natural resources, these fires have caused considerable environmental and economic damages and some have had transboundary impacts, for example, through smoke pollution, loss of biodiversity or forest degradation at the landscape level. The interaction between anthropogenic environmental disturbances and wildland fire demonstrates a new dimension of fire problems that may become of increasing importance with the expanding population and shrinking natural resources a challenge to environmental management and particularly to wildland fire management.
Wildfires if not well managed might pose immediate risk to the sustainability of forest and steppe landscapes, and threaten their biodiversity and productivity. Rural populations may become seriously affected by injuries, death, and property losses like villages, temporary nomadic settlements and valuable livestock. Fire smoke pollution has repeatedly affected the health of rural people and the urban are of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. In 2015 the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) assisted the National University of Mongolia and the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) to establish and institutionalize the Regional Central Asia Fire Management Resource Center (RCAFMRC), which is serving as a center of excellence for capacity building in fire management in Central Asia and Secretariat of the UNISDR Regional Central Asia Wildland Fire Network. One of the first activities was the translation of the EuroFire materials to Mongolian language and the development of fire management guidelines for capacitating local communities in fire management. A Fire Management Glossary (Mongolian, Russian and English), published in 2014, is facilitating common understanding between fire managers in Central Asia.
Translated EuroFire Materials Village Defense Guidelines Fire Management Terminology