Council of Europe
Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage
European Open Partial Agreement on the Prevention,
Protection Against and Organization of Relief in
Major Natural and Technological Disasters
(EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement)
The European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA)
Created in 1987, the European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) is a platform for co-operation between European and Southern Mediterranean countries in the field of major natural and technological disasters: its field of action covers the knowledge of hazards, risk prevention, risk management, post-crisis analysis and rehabilitation.
The Agreement is partial, as not all member States of the Council of Europe participate, but also open, as three Southern Mediterranean countries count among its members. It has to date 25 Member States.
In addition to the political drive given by Ministerial Sessions, backed by its Committee of Permanent Correspondents (representatives from national Ministries in the field), the technical contribution from its Network of Specialised Centres (25 Centres covering different types of risk) is an essential element of the Agreement’s mechanism.
Network of Specialised Euro-Mediterranean Centres
These structures facilitate the concrete contribution to the common objectives of the various partners through the implementation of European expertise and research, formation and information programs. Their specific role is thus to develop projects, both at the national and regional level, who aim to improve the awareness and resilience to major risks within the population.
Joint activity 2009: Advanced Seminar Wildfires and Human Security: Fire Management on Terrain Contaminated by Radioactivity, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and Land Mines
This seminar addressed the consequences of wildfires and fire management on contaminated terrain and will be conducted in Kiev and Chornobyl, Ukraine, 6-8 October 2009, by the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) in the frame of the activities of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the joint project Enhancing National Capacity on Fire Management and Risk Reduction in the South Caucasus (Environment and Security Initiative [ENVSEC]), the UNISDR Regional Southeast Europe / Caucasus and Central Asia Wildland Fire Networks and the UNECE / FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire.
On 10 June 2010, the GFMC and EFFC organized jointly a video conference “Recent Developments and Needs for Wildfire Fighting on the Ground: Tactics and Technologies”. Main topics of the video conference agenda were tactics and training in forest fire suppression, technologies and ground means used, as well as end-users requirements. Participants from different fire services and relevant organizations in Europe participated.
At the 61st meeting of the EUR-OPA Committee of Permanent Correspondents held 29-30 September 2011 in Yerevan (Armenia) a proposal adopted on “Preventing and Fighting Wildland Fires in context of Climate Change” (recommendation 2011-2).
Establishment an inauguration of the Regional Eastern Europe Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC) and Regional Seminar and Consultation “Wildfires in the Eastern European Region: Science, Policies and Management”, at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (NULESU) (Kyiv, Ukraine, 4 March 2013), supported by GFMC with funding of the EUR-OPA Secretariat:
Workshop “Defense of Villages, Farms and Other Rural Assets against Wildfires: Guidelines for Rural Populations, Local Community and Municipality Leaders in the Balkan Region”, supported by the Council of Europe, the Regional Fire Monitoring Center SE Europe / Caucasus (RFMC), Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC) and the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire; European Center of Forest Fires (ECFF), National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece, 13 May 2013.
National Round Table on Fire Management “Sharing Responsibilities and Resources at Economically Difficult Times”, under the co-auspices of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization “Dimitra”, General Secretariat for Civil Protection, General Secretariat of Forests, General Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, and the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire; supported by Council of Europe and Maria Tsakos Foundation; Evgenideio Conference Center, Athens, Greece, 14 May 2013:
Second “International Fire Management Week” in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russian Federation, organized by the GFMC and the Russian Federal Forest Service Rosleskhoz and the National Aerial Forest Fire Center Avialesookhrana in the frame of the “German-Russian Forest Fire Task Force” and the activities sponsored by EUR-OPA Secretariat; with (a) Scientific Conference “Post-Fire Natural Regeneration of Forests in Siberia”, and (b) revisit of the Bor Forest Island Fire Experiment of 1993; Krasnoyarsk, Bor Forest Island, Russian Federation17-23 June 2013:
Celebration of the “Knowledge Day” at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (NULESU) / Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC) and award of honorary doctor degree to the head of GFMC; Kiev, Ukraine, 1 September 2013:
General Assembly and 20th Anniversary of Green Cross International (GCI): Ceremony of Green Star Awards of GCI with UN-OCHA and UNEP to awardees of the Global Wildland Fire Network, among which the two regional centers established with funding of the EUR-OPA Secretariat were honored: Nikola Nikolov (Regional Southeast Europe Fire Monitoring Center, Macedonia) and Sergiy Zibtsev (Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center, Ukraine); UN Geneva, Switzerland, 2 September 2013:
Eastern European consultation on the follow-up of the UNECE/FAO Regional Forum on Cross-boundary Fire Management (UN Geneva, 28-29 November 2013) and first Eastern European Prescribed Fire Demonstration and Long-term Observation Experiment on the use of prescribed fire in wildfire hazard reduction in pine stands at the Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC), Kyiv and Boyarka Forest Research Station, Ukraine, 6-9 April 2014:
Field study “Fire Management in UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites and other Protected Area”, supported by the Council of Europe, EUR-OPA Secretariat; Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain, Greece, 29 May – 2 June 2014:
Joint activities 2015-2016
VI Ukraine Fire Management Week with Second Eastern European Prescribed Fire Demonstration and Long-term Observation Experiment on the use of prescribed fire in wildfire hazard reduction in pine stands and Seminar “Fire Management and Research in Forests, Protected Areas and Natural Heritage Sites”; Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC), Kyiv and Boyarka Forest Research Station, Ukraine, 25-27 March 2015:
VII Ukraine Fire Management Week with Third Eastern European Prescribed Fire Demonstration and Long-term Observation Experiment on the use of prescribed fire for enhancing regeneration of Scots pine stands; Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC), Kyiv and Boyarka Forest Research Station, Ukraine, 17-20 April 2016:
Training Course “Enhancing Ground and Aerial Forest Fire Suppression Capacities in the Republic of Macedonia”, a joint course organized by the Regional SE Europe / Caucasus Fire Monitoring Center (RFMC), the U.S. Forest Service and the GFMC, with GFMC contribution introducing the “International Fire Aviation Guidelines and International Manual of Common Rules for Fire Aviation”; under sponsorship of EUR-OPA); Skopje, FYR Macedonia, 7-9 September 2016
First National Coordination Meeting on Enhancing Fire Management Capacity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a cooperative meeting organized by the Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC), the U.S. Forest Service and the GFMC, under sponsorship of the Council of Europe (CoE), Secretariat of the Euro-Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) (J.G. Goldammer); Kyiv, Ukraine, 22-23 September 2016:
National Round Table on Fire Management, Republic of Macedonia, held under sponsorship of the Council of Europe (CoE), Secretariat of the Euro-Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA); Skopje, FYR Macedonia, 09 November 2016:
Regional Consultation on Cross-boundary Cooperation in Fire Management, held under sponsorship of the Council of Europe (CoE), Secretariat of the Euro-Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) (facilitator: GFMC / J.G. Goldammer); Skopje, FYR Macedonia, 11 November 2016:
Joint activities 2017
National Round Table “Fires in the Natural and Cultural Landscapes of Ukraine: Towards the Development of a National Fire Management Policy”, organized by the Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC), GFMC and the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine, with participation of the Ministries of Agrarian Policy and Food, Internal Affairs and Ecology and Natural Resources, and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, sponsored by the Council of Europe, Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) through (GFMC); Kyiv, REEFMC/NULESU, Ukraine, 26 October 2017:
Regional Consultation on “Cross-Boundary Cooperation in Landscape Fire Management”, organized by the REEFMC and GFMC; sponsored by the Council of Europe, Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) through (GFMC); Kyiv, REEFMC/NULESU, Boyarka Forest Experimental Station, Ukrainian Center of Advance Training of Forestry Professionals, Ukraine, 27 October 2017:
National Round Table on the Future of Fire Management, Portugal (J.G. Goldammer); Office of the Prime Minister, Lisbon, Portugal, 10 November 2017.
International conference “Protection of Human Settlements and Social Infrastructure from Wildfires”, organized by EMERCOM of Russia, with GFMC contribution on behalf of the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement Meeting (EUR-OPA) “Towards Building Holistic Approaches in Landscape Fire Management in Eurasia: Experiences and Prospects”; State Fire Academy of EMERCOM of Russia, Moscow, Russian Federation, 15-16 November 2017: