Canada/Greece — British Columbia is sending a a team of specialists in wildfire and reforestation to help Greece rebuild after devastating fires there last summer.
The delegation is sponsored by the charitable Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which is hosting a five-day workshop in Athens so local authorities can gain access to Canadian expertise in wildfire management and economic development.
“British Columbians understand the terrible devastation caused by wildfires,” Forests and Range Minister Rich Coleman said today in a news release. “We have over 100 years of experience in fighting and responding to wildfires, and are pleased to share this expertise with Greece to help them reforest and rebuild.”
The 23-member delegation will include members of Simon Fraser University’s Hellenic studies and resource and environmental management departments, staff from B.C.’s Ministry of Forests and Range, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service, the University of Arizona, the U.S. Geological Survey – Western Ecological Research Centre, and a number of private-sector companies.
British Columbia is sending nine forestry staff to help assess the damage, offer advice on reforestation, and make recommendations on fire prevention preparedness techniques, firefighting and fire controlling procedures.
At least 63 people died and hundreds of homes were burned in August after dozens of fires burned out of control in Greece.