Regional Eurasia and Southeast Europe / Caucasus Wildland Fire Network
Two Regions of the Global Wildland Fire Network

Regional Consultations on Terrain Fires Contaminated by Radioactivity, Unexploded
Ordnance and Land Mines

Background Information: Wildfires and Human Security in Cultural Landscapes in Transition – Examples from Temperate-Boreal Eurasia
In 2013 the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) published a comprehensive White Paper directed to the United Nations and International Organizations entitled “Vegetation Fires and Global Change – Challenges for Concerted International Action”. This White Paper includes an analysis of dangerous wildfires affecting human security in the landscapes of Eurasia, including threats of fires burning on lands contaminated by radioactivity, UXO and land mines:

Ground and aerial impressions of UXO-contaminated territories in Germany: Advanced armoured and UAV technologies for safe prescribed burning and wildfire control.
Source: GFMC (Goldammer et al. [2012]; see reference further down)

Safe Fire Management on Contaminated Terrain
In 2014 the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) commissioned the Report “Best practices and recommendations for wildfire suppression in contaminated areas, with focus on radioactive terrain” (Goldammer, J.G., Kashparov, V., Zibtsev, S., Robinson, S., Freiburg-Basel-Kyiv, 53. p.)

International Consultation on Fire in Irradiated Forests
An International Meeting on “Reduction of Disaster Risk from Catastrophic Wildfires in the Chernobyl Irradiated Forests” was held under the auspices of the National Agricultural University of Ukraine, Yale University, GFMC / UNISDR in Kiev, Ukraine, 25-28 July 2007.

Ukraine: Second National Round Table and Consultation on Irradiated Forests
The Ministry of Ukraine on Emergencies and Affairs of Populations Affected by the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe convened a Round Table on „Reduction of Risk of Disaster from Wildfires in the Chernobyl Irradiated Forests. The meeting was held on 6 October 2008 at the Ministry and cosponsored by Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry (U.S.A.) and the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC).

Advanced Seminar “Wildfires and Human Security: Fire Management on Terrain Contaminated by Radioactivity, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and Land Mines”
This seminar addressed consequences of wildfires and fire management on contaminated terrain and was 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.

International Conference “Twenty-five Years after the Chornobyl Accident“
The International Conference “Twenty-five Years after Chornobyl Accident. Safety for the Future” was held in Kyiv / Chornobyl, Ukraine, 20-21 April 2011. A joint presentation „Needs for Development of Wildfire Management in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone“ was given by C.D. Oliver, S.V. Zibtsev, A.M. Hohl, J.G. Goldammer, J. McCarter, M.M. Petrenko and O.A. Borsuk.

Opening addresses of the Chornobyl Conference were given by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Prime Minister of Urkaine, Mykola Azarov (Left and middle), and the Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano (right)


Regional Consultation Meeting "Environment and Security"
Regional Consultation Meeting: Initiative "Environment and Security": Perspectives of Environmental Cooperation in Eastern Europe, with participation of the Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC), with inputs on fire management needs in contaminated forests; Minsk, Belarus (8 September 2014).

Letter of the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) directed to the Government of Ukraine
On 11 February 2016 the GFMC sent a letter to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and suggested the further development of fire management capacities in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ) (establishment of an innovative system of early detection of fires in the ChEZ and continuation of cooperation in developing fire management capacities in Ukraine between GFMC and Ukrainian partners) (11 February 2016)

Conserving, Enhancing and Managing Carbon Stocks and Biodiversity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
Inception Workshop of the UNEP-GEF Project "Conserving, Enhancing and Managing Carbon Stocks and Biodiversity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone" with the fire management component ; Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine (MENR) and State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Management, Kyiv, Ukraine (18 April 2016)

Kick-off of the OSCE Project on collaborative efforts in fire management in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone between Ukraine and Belarus
Consultation on the project "Improving radiological and environmental awareness in territories affected by the Chernobyl accident in Belarus and Ukraine with a focus on wildfire management" (2016-2018); OSCE Office Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine (18 April 2016)

First Coordination Meeting on Enhancing Fire Management Capacity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
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, with GFMC contribution on the International Wildfire Preparedness Mechanism (IWPM) and the EuroFire Competency Standards; preparation of the National Round Table on Fire Management, Ukraine, and the Regional Consultation on Cross-boundary Cooperation in Fire Management (to be held in Kyiv in 2017) under sponsorship of the Council of Europe (CoE), Secretariat of the Euro-Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA); Kyiv, Ukraine (22-23 September 2016)



From left to right: Participants of the Coordination Meeting; introductory remarks by Petro Lakyda (National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine), Johann G. Goldammer (GFMC), George Kent (Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United State to Ukraine), Sergiy Zibtsev (REEFMC), Vitalii Petruk (Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Management), Shelia Slemp (U.S. Forest Service International Programs), and the audience from different ministries and agencies of Ukraine. Photos: REEFMC / NULESU.

Recent Publications
Goldammer, J.G., E. Brunn, A. Held, A. Johst, S. Kathke, F. Meyer, K. Pahl, A. Restas, and J. Schulz. 2012. Kontrolliertes Brennen zur Pflege von Zwergstrauchheiden (Calluna vulgaris) auf munitionsbelasteten Flächen: Problemstellung, bisherige Erfahrungen und geplantes Vorgehen im Pilotvorhaben im Naturschutzgebiet „Heidehof-Golmberg“ (Landkreis Teltow-Fläming). Naturschutz und Biologische Vielfalt Heft 127, 65-95. ISBN 978-3-7843-4027-2 (in German, with English abstract)

Hohl, A., A. Niccolai, C. Oliver, D. Melnychuk, S. Zibtsev, J.G. Goldammer, M. Petrenko, V. Gulidov. 2012. The human health effects of radioactive smoke from a catastrophic wildfire in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone: A worst case scenario. J. Earth Bioresources and Life Quality 1, 1-34, ISSN 2221-1713.


Satellite images in May 2003 show numerous forest fires in and around the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone on lands with different contamination levels that bring radioactive smoke toward Kyiv city.

Zibtsev, S.V., Goldammer, J.G., Robinson, S., Borsuk, O.A. 2015. Fires in nuclear forests: Silent threats to the environment and human security. FAO Unasylva 66 (243-244), 40-51.

Interview of the Ukrainian Magazine FOKUS with Sergiy Zibtsev:

Recent fire situation in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (Kraine) as monitored by the GFMC: