The first proposal for the formation of a regional network in SE Europe, particularly on the Balkan, was initially discussed by the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) in June 2002 to promote cooperation in wildland fire research and management under a “South East European Fire Management Network” (SEEFIRE). Envisaged participating countries included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia. The SEEFIRE Network intended to address the problem of wildland fires (forest fires and fires in other vegetation types) that are increasingly observed in the SE European transition countries. SEEFIRE would establish an interactive network of institutions of all countries listed below that are involved in the prevention and control of wildland fire. At the occasion of the International Scientific Conference “Fire and Emergency Safety During the XXI Century – The Course of Europe” (31 October – 1 November 2002, Sofia, Bulgaria) the GFMC the network formation was discussed with representatives of the Balkan Region.
In 2004 the “ECE/FAO International Conference on Management of Forest Fire Emergencies and International Cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans and adjoining Regions of the Near East and Central Asia” was held in Turkey (for details: See Regional Central Asia Wildland Fire Network) and provided an opportunity to clarify detailed objectives and modus operandi of the Regional Balkan Wildland Fire Network operating under the auspices of UNISDR.
On 4-5 April 2005 the Republic of Macedonia hosted the International Technical and Scientific Consultation Forest Fire Management in the Balkan Region. The conference was sponsored by the UNISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group / Global Wildland Fire Network through its Coordinator and Secretariat, the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC). Funding of the consultation was provided by the German Foreign Office (represented by the GFMC) and contributions by the participating and contributing countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey). In the meeting it was decided to expand the current focus on the Balkan Region to a Regional South East European Wildland Fire Network and invited countries adjoining to the Balkan region to cooperate.
Prof. Dr. Nikola Nikolov
Regional Southeast Europe / Caucasus Fire Monitoring Center
Faculty of Forestry
Bul. Aleksandar Makedonski b.b.
FY Republic of Macedonia
e-mail: nnikolov@ sf.ukim.edu.mk
Co-chair of the network:
Mr. Vladimir Konstantinov
Chief Expert on Forest Fires
State Forestry Agency
55, Hristo Botev Blvd.
Republic of Bulgaria
e-mail: vl_konstantinov @ nug.bg