‘EU-wide fire strike force needed’

‘EU-wide fire strike force needed’

28 August 2007

published by www.euractiv.com

Johann G. Goldammer, 
The Global Fire Monitoring Center

Concerning Member states to help fight Greek forestfires, the Global Fire Monitoring Center(GFMC) provides: 

  • Real-time and forecasted early warning of fire danger; 
  • near real-time monitoring of fires; 
  • interpretation, synthesis and archive of global fire information, and; 
  • support of local, national and international entities to develop long-term strategies or policies for wildland fire management, including community-based fire-management approaches and advanced wildland fire-management training for decision-makers. 

The GFMC serves as an advisory body to the UN system through the co-ordination of the UNISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group and the UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network. It also offers liaison capabilities to provide assistance with rapid assessment and decision support in response to wildland-fire emergencies, in co-operation with the Joint UNEP-OCHA Environment Unit, successfully exercised in 2006-07.

We have been entrusted by EU LEONARDO to develop competency-based standards for forest-fire management (notably forest fire suppression) for the European Fire Services until 2008. We feel that the development of EU-wide accepted standards should be the first step, followed by the introduction of these standards and procedures for co-operation in forest-fire emergencies. Once this is in place, we should really then think about a pan-European strike force to respond to natural fire disasters. However, one
step should follow the other – first, building general competences in forest-fire suppression, then setting standards for transnational co-operation in emergencies. We are available to support the Commission with fresh ideas and concepts.

Johann G. Goldammer
The Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

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