Presentation at COFO Side Meeting on Forest Fires (2 March 1999)
Follow-up Activities in Response to Recommendations From the Fire Meeting
In the four months following the Fire meeting, activities in response to recommendations have tended to concentrate on technical aspects to support policy formulation and implementation. This has been done to establish the groundwork for long-term policy development and to complement and build upon the on-going regular programme activities.
One of the recommendations from the meeting is for an internationally harmonised fire management terminology to support global or regional fire reporting systems.
To help achieve this, FAO is revising the FAO paper No. 70 Wildland Fire Terminology in collaboration with members of the global fire community.
Once fire terminology is agreed upon the recommendation to support the design of a global fire inventory or reporting system is the next sequential step to be taken.
A planning and information assessment for forest fires as a component of forest resource assessment (FRA 2000) is planned which will include a review of existing information sources, identify gaps and provide recommendations for a framework for collecting fire data -including causes of fires at national level.
This will be carried out in collaboration with other agencies responsible for data collation including UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Timber Committee,- EU, and the Global Fire Monitoring Centre operated through the Fire Ecology Research Group, University of Freiburg.
A decentralised database for Forest Fires in the Mediterranean which is compatible with the existing EU database -is also being realised through the framework of a French trust fund project in support of Silva Mediterranea and the Mediterranean Forest Action Programme.
Through this same French trust fund an analysis of the present situation of community involvement in forest fire prevention and control is being carried out in participating countries which include Cyprus, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Syria.
These analyses will provide a model for six regional case studies on management of forest fire through involvement of local communities, presently being discussed with the fire community.
Training needs in forest fire management are being addressed; -for example in Turkey – training is being carried out through a technical co-operation project (TCP) which has also provided the opportunity to formulate national policies for forest fire management.
Audiovisual training materials for the Mediterranean are also being made available.
Lastly- using limited available funds, regular programme resources are being strengthened for action on environmental emergencies, including forest fires.