EFIMED Hosts Strategic Mediterranean-Russia Workshop
Twenty experts, scientists and policy makers from Russian and
Mediterranean regions met in Barcelona on 20-21 March to discuss strategies and
management approaches to address the increasing risk of forest fires.
Discussions centred on fire prevention and fire suppression as well
as forest management, economics and forest policy considerations. During the
meetings a common understanding of the causes and drivers of fire risk,
synergies and similarities in addressing forest fires between Russia and
European countries was identified. They share a joint common language of fire
fighting and possibilities for future cooperation.
trip on the second day of the workshop offered the participants the opportunity
to take part in 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
During the workshop the participants agreed that the increasing risk
of forest fires should be addressed in a sustainable way by dealing 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 which connected experts and decision-makers from
different European countries in informal settings to try and get 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)
Photos: Inazio Martinez de Arano
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