European Forest Fire Monitoring using Information Systems
This project aims to pool good practices (GPs) on exploitation of the usage of information systems in order to early detect, efficiently manage and handle forest fires and assess the damage caused and ways for regeneration. It aims to exchange good practices between the participating regions, so as to strengthen their position and capacities to respond better to the Lisbon and Gothenburg agendas on protection of the environment and the decreasing of CO2 emissions. Forest fires are a major problem for many European societies threatening human lives and property with disastrous impacts particularly at the wildland-urban interface. The only effective way to minimize damage caused by forest fires is their early detection and fast reaction, apart from preventive measures. Great efforts are therefore made to achieve early forest fire detection, which is traditionally based on human surveillance. However, in recent years, a more advanced approach to human forest fire surveillance has been utilised, which is based on the usage of information systems. The project will focus on the exchange of good practices between the regions and will seek to develop regional action plans for how each region can position itself better in using information systems to protect its natural resources against fire and how each region can align its national policy with the EU legislation related to forest fires. The project will use tested tools and methodologies to bring the transfer of good practices from the stronger standing regions to the weaker ones – namely site visits, taking stock of existing situations (environmental, meteorological, geographical) as well as potentials, piloting actions, outlining good practice catalogues and proposing concrete action plans. The project will use the principle of equal participation of all financing partners, and it will work concretely via the setting up of transnational (interregional) working groups that will take responsibility for the proper transfer of know-how on good practices according to “field of expertise”. Besides the exchange of knowledge and good practices, the project will envisage the implementation of targeted dissemination actions in key areas for forest fire detection and management. Namely, the project will examine how the transfer of specific expertise on these areas from some of the participating regions could benefit other participating “donor-regions”. In this way “donor-regions” will be offered the possibility to adopt more efficient methodologies and technologies in order to protect their natural resources against forest fires. Targeted dissemination will contribute to the project gaining wider acceptance, and it will actively involve relevant stakeholders.