Mongolia — Today the National Seminar on Strengthening Fire Management in Mongolia 2014 meeting took place at the King hall, Ministry of Environment and Green Development. This is end of the winter that the weather conditions of spring time will create conditions of high flammability in the forests and steppes of our country. The seminar includes participation of members of the National Coordination Committee on Forest and Steppe Fire Protection (NCCFSFP): from the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, National Emergency Management Agency, General Authority for Border Protection, State Specialized Inspection Agency, Department of Prevention and Fighting on Environmental Crime, State Investigation Department, National Agency for Meteorology and the Environmental Monitoring and Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), provincial members of the Coordination Committee on Fire protection.
The combination of three factors dry weather, abundant dry grass of last year and the carelessness of people working in or visiting our natural landscapes lead to extended fires all over the country. In the last years Mongolia have experienced more and more fires that are not only causing harm to our natural environment, but also to the livelihood and wellbeing of people, sometimes even injuring and killing people. During the last years many communities and families have suffered from losses of forest products and grazing lands. Often animals have been killed by wildfires and left behind big economic problems for the affected families. Therefore, authorities has been discussed current situation of forest and steppe fire management and ways to strengthen it.
In last few years the Ministry of Environment and Green Development has paid special attention on legislation of forestry sector and fire management in the country. We have seen some positive results by decreased number of fire incident and size of the burnt area of 2013 compare to 2012 fire season. However, its been recognized that as a result of extreme continental climate and global climate change, Mongolia experiences extreme drought periods, dzud, and severe snow and dust storms. These extreme events cannot be prevented. Additional environmental stress and secondary damages caused by wildfires, however, can be prevented. This is because most of the damaging wildfires in Mongolia are caused by people. Thus, with careful land management and especially the prevention of human-caused fires we can reduce additional stress to our environment and thus reduce the trend of forest losses and halt desertification, participants emphasized.
With this seminar and meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Forest and Steppe Fire Protection (NCCFSFP) authorities want to move ahead and exchange experiences about the progresses made by the participating agencies. During this seminar participants are sharing their views and visions on fire management in the country and making plan of the NCCFSFP for coming 2 years.