Cooperation to control forest fire sought

Cooperation to control forest fire sought

3 April 2007

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Kathmandu, Nepal — The 1st Regional South Asia Wildland Fire Network (SAWFN)foundation meeting that concluded here today stressed the importance ofinternational cooperation for controlling forest fires in South Asia.

The meeting issued a 19-point Kathmandu declaration highlighting the importanceof technical and human resource sharing in forest fire management and thecommunity-oriented fire management in the region.

The declaration has identified importance of information sharing and technologytransfer with collaborative efforts for transboundary haze pollution reduction.”It is important to establish upstream-downstream linkages within thegreater Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region for reducing negative impact caused byforest fires”, it said.

It also pointed out the need to use satellite imageries for forest firemanagement, development and use of community-based fire hazard mapping andadaptive measures in the fire disaster. “There is a need of human resourceand institutional development to control fire disasters,” it said, adding,”Improvement in research tools, fire management and monitoring at regionaland global levels need to be focused.” The declaration has recommended thegovernments to stress development and improvement of legal framework, resourcegeneration and law enforcement. “The governments should emphasize theimprovement of community-based fire management,” it said.

Speaking at the meeting, Prof. Johann G. Goldammer, the coordinator of the Global WildlandFire Network of the United Nations, said: “There is a need ofinternational cooperation in forest fire management in Sout Asia.”

The SAWFN was formally established today with four member countries – India, Sri Lanke, Bhutan and Nepal. The meeting was organized by the Global FireMonitoring Center.

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