In continuation of the last issues of International ForestFire News and an agreement with the FAO Global Forest Fire Assessment1990-2000 within the Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FRA) thisissue presents three country reports that had been included in the FAO globalfire assessment (Canada, United States of America, and Mexico). In the Northand Central America America Fire Special additional contributions come fromChiapas (México) and Guatemala. A contribution of the U.S. Bureau of LandManagement (BLM), sponsor of International Forest Fire News, reports on AmericasNational Fire Planwhich follows the recommendations by the U.S.Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior in response to the wildland fire seasonof the year 2000.
The Europe Special of this issue provides the firstcomprehensive reports from Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Thesereports had been presented at BALTEX FIRE 2000 in Finland and are now publishedwith a slight delay. In addition a pan-European analysis of forest fires ispresented which was based, among other, on the statistical data provided by IFFNand the ECE. An essay on recent collaborative activities in fire management inthe Mediterranean region is provided by the GFMC. The Country Notes ofthis issue, finally, provides the most recent reports from India and Mongolia.
At the time of writing this Editorial the Global FireMonitoring Center (GFMC) is working on the establishment of the RegionalWildland Fire Networks that have been proposed by the GFMC and the UN-ISDRInter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction, Working Group on Wildland Fire.One of the agreed terms of reference of the Working Group is to support theestablishment of, and operational procedures for, a global network of regional-to national-level focal points for early warning of wildland fire, firemonitoring and impact assessment, aimed at enhancing existing global firemonitoring capabilities and facilitating the functioning of a global firemanagement working programme or network.
A number of regional activities are currently emerging andtaking the lead in the formation of networks. These will be invited toparticipate at the 3rd International Wildland Fire Conference,Sydney, Australia (September 2003). Currently the Regional Wildland FireNetworks are initiated through the following initiatives and groups:
Regional Baltic Wildland Fire Network (FAO/ECE/ILO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire)
Regional Mediterranean Wildland Fire Network (European Open Partial Agreement, Major Hazards Agreement, Mediterranean Disaster Information Network MEDIN, and FAO Silva Mediterranea)
Regional South East European Wildland Fire Network (FAO/ECE/ILO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire)
Regional Central Asia Wildland Fire Network (FAO/ECE/ILO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire)
Regional North America Wildland Fire Network (t.b.d.)
Regional Mesoamerica Wildland Fire Network (Technical Mesoamerican Permanent Group)
Regional South America Wildland Fire Network (UNEP)
Regional Australasian Wildland Fire Network (proposed: Australasian Fire Authorities Council AFAC)
Regional South East Asian Wildland Fire Network (Association of South East Asian Nations ASEAN; launched in June 2002)
Regional Subsahara Wildland Fire Network (follow-up of the kick-off meeting at the Wood for Africa Conference, held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 3 July 2002)
Each of the Regional Wildland Fire Networks will consistof a Network Coordinator and the Focal Points of countries belonging to theregions. The networks will consist of a number of sub-networks that willpossibly include
Wildland FireEarly Warning Subnet
Wildland FireMonitoring Subnet
Wildland FireManagement Subnet
Wildland FireScience Subnet
Wildland FireCapacity Building Subnet
Wildland FirePolicy and Legislation Subnet
IFFNreaders are encouraged to follow the developments on the websites of the GFMCand the ISDR Working group on Wildland Fire at: