International Cooperation inWildland Fire Management
FAO Ministerial Meeting onForests, 14 March 2005
Committee on Forestry 15-19 March 2005
Note by the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)
Over the past decade, many regions ofthe world have experienced a growing trend of excessive fire application inland-use systems and land-use change, and an increasing occurrence of extremelysevere wildfires. Some of the effects of wildland fires are transboundary, forexample smoke and water pollution and its impacts on human health and safety,loss of biodiversity or site degradation at a landscape level leading todesertification or flooding. The depletion of terrestrial carbon by firesburning under extreme conditions in some vegetation types, including organicterrain in peatland biomes, is one of the driving agents of disturbance ofglobal biogeochemical cycles, notably the global carbon cycle. This trend iscausing the international community to address the problem collectively andcollaboratively. The consultations of the Regional Wildland Fire Networks in2004 recommended the development of informal partnerships, joint projects andformal agreements between government and non-governmental institutions that areessential to enable nations to develop sustainable fire management capabilities.Therefore the Wildland Fire Advisory Group / Global Wildland Fire Networkproposes the development of an international wildland fire accord.
At the two high level meetings on Forestry that will be held atFAOs headquarters in Rome next week (FAO will hold the Ministerial Meeting onForests on 14 March2005 and the seventeenth session of the Committee on Forestry [COFO] from15 to 19 March 2005) one of the main agenda items tabled for theMinisterial Meeting on Forests is international cooperation on forest fires. Theministers at the meeting will discuss opportunities for cooperation in wildlandfire management at local, regional and international.
Thehigh-level meetings are in line with the objectives of work of the WildlandFire Advisory Group, United Nations International Strategy for DisasterReduction (UN-ISDR) and the UN-ISDR Global Wildland Fire Network. TheGlobal Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) is serving as secretariat for the WildlandFire Advisory Group and the Global Wildland Fire Network. The GFMC / ISDR andGFMC have developed a strategic framework for the development of aninternational accord on cooperation in wildland fire management.
Detailson the Wildland Fire Advisory Group and the Global Wildland Fire Network as wellas the input documents to the ministerial meeting and the COFO meeting are foundon this GFMC web page: