International Wildland Fire Summit
“Fire Management and Sustainable Development:
Strengthening international cooperation to reduce the negative impacts of wildfires on humanity and the global environment”

Sydney, Australia, 8 October 2003

Note: This website is regularly updated concerning the implementation of the outcomes of the Summit
(Last update: 01 January 2020)


The 3rd International Wildland Fire Conference was held in Sydney, Australia, 3-6 October 2003. The conference followed-up the First International Conference on Wildland Fire (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1989) and the Second International Conference on Wildland Fire (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1997). The Third Conference was sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the Australasian Fire Authorities Council, and NFPA International. Some of the proceedings (abstracts and full papers) presented at the conference are available digitally:

Following the Conference an International Wildland Fire Summit was held on 8 October 2003 between invited representatives from all regions of the globe to develop a strategy for the improvement of wildland fire management. Also attending were invited representatives of those countries and international agencies most able to assist, or having a significant stake in the situation. The participants met to collectively plan both short- and medium-term pragmatic solutions to the problems being confronted in wildland fire management. The summit came up with an agreement for the implementation of a five-year wildland fire strategy.

The following three documents provided information on the organization and scope of the International Wildland Fire (IWF) Summit, including a comprehensive background paper:

As a result of the summit, participants had been invited to consider four position papers. These papers have been edited in the course of the Summit and were finalized in the post-Summit discussions. The final versions, including an additional paper on Community-Based Fire Management, are included in the Summit Communiqué (see below).

Outcomes of the Summit

The Summit Communiqué includes the finalversions of the Summit conclusions and the five position papers.

Additional Statements delivered at the Summit:

Group photograph of the summit participants (8October 2003)

Follow-Up: The Global Wildland Fire Network

A number of regional consultations and conferences have been accomplished during the post-summit process:

Activities of the Global Wildland Fire Network

GWFN Publications

FAO Ministerial Meeting on International Cooperation in Forest Fire Management

Background Documents on International Cooperation in Wildland Fire Management

The following additional background documents are provided for briefing summit delegates and the international wildland fire community about earlier resolutions, agreements and ongoing programmes on which the Summit will build.

I. Decisions, recommendations and outputs of earlier international conferences

During the last decade several dedicated international conferences recommended global action programmes in wildland fire research and fire management cooperation.

II. World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD)

The goal of the International Wildland Fire Summit will contribute to the implementation of the recommendations of the WSSD

During the WSSD a major initiative led by UNEP-OCHA was launched to increase international cooperation in the field of prevention,preparedness and response to environmental disasters. From the beginning wildland fire issues have been included.

The UNEP-OCHA Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies (AGEE) at its 5th meeting in May 2003 decided to utilize the Partnership Programme to enhance international cooperation in wildland fire management.

III. International Agreements for Assistance in Wildland Fire Emergencies

A documentation of established international mechanisms for mutual assistance in wildland fire emergencies and documents with surveys and evaluation of existing agreements on cooperation in wildland fire management is provided by the GFMC.

IV. Documents of UN Agencies and Programmes

A special website has been created by the GFMC in which all reference documents on international wildland fire issues can be downloaded

V.Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)

The GFMC website provides access to scientific and user-oriented global wildland fire information and data, including facilitation of wildland fire emergency support

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