Building cooperation and collaboration between Russia and European countries

The workshop included a unique possibility for practical communication and peer-to peer discussions in the forest, with multinational fire fighting experts. Participants saw how the use of prescribed burning to mitigate the risk of forest fires can be strategically planned and implemented with the agreement of forest owners and locals. They also visited a dispatch centre in Bellaterra, Catalonia, to meet with officials from the fire service and emergency responders.

During the workshop, the participants agreed that to address the increasing risk of forest fires in a sustainable way, we need to deal with the root causes of the problem. In most cases these causes lie outside the forest sector as they are related to agricultural practices and especially to the rapidly changing rural world, which lacks the economic drivers to maintain viable economic activities and a population that would manage the landscapes in a resilient and cost-effective way.

Discussions included representatives from France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Spain, and the UK. The workshop was a practical example of collaboration and cooperation: connecting experts, actors and decision-makers from different European countries in informal settings to try to go to the root causes of problems and speed up the circulation of existing knowledge. The dialogue and cooperation on forest fires will continue via the start-up project for a European Forest Risk Facility (FRISK-GO).

Further information: Marc Palahí, Deputy Director (marc.palahi(at)efi.int)

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