Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) / Fire Ecology Research Group

Max Planck Institute for Chemistry


Organizational Arrangements

The Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) has been established in 1998 at the Fire Ecology Research Group. Founded in the 1970s at Freiburg University (Germany) the Fire Ecology Research Group was incorporated into the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in 1990. Until end of 2014 the GFMC / Fire Ecology Research Group was a subdivision of the Biogeochemistry Department of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Mainz, Germany) and is an independent subdivision since 2015.

Since the begin of the 1990s the Biogeochemistry Department (M.O. Andreae) with the Fire Ecology Research Group (J.G. Goldammer) and the Biofuel Burning Research Group (G. Helas), jointly with the Air Chemistry Department (P. Crutzen), have been working together in designing, coordination, organization and implementation of several international fire research campaigns under the umbrella of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). The Fire Ecology Research Group served as co-chair of the scientific steering committee of the vegetation fire science component within the IGBP Core Project International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) - the Biomass Burning Experiment (BIBEX) – and was host of the BIBEX Secretariat.

The scientific interests of the Research Groups of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry are expressed in the numerous scientific publications authored or co-authored by the four scientists.

Science and Technology Transfer

Since the early 1990s the /GFMC / Fire Ecology Research Group has taken a leading role in science and technology transfer to the UN system through its role as coordinating unit of the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire (until phasing out of the Team in July 2014). Between 1997 and 2000 the Fire Ecology Research Group acted as convener of the UN International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) Early Warning Programme Working Group "Fire and Related Environmental Hazards". As a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) the GFMC served as a convener of the Working Group on Wildland Fire between 2001 and 2003. One of the core activities was the establishment of the Global Wildland Fire Network. Based on the achievements of the Working Group the GFMC is currently serving as secretariat of the Global Wildland Fire Network and chair of the UNISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group under the auspices of and serving the UNISDR system as a Thematic Platform.

Since 2014 the GFMC is serving as founding and interim Secretariat of the International Wildfire Preparedness Mechanism (IWPM), a non-financial instrument serving as a broker / facilitator between national and international agencies, programmes and projects to exchange expertise and build capacities in wildland fire management and particularly in enhancing preparedness to large wildfire emergency situations. The IWPM has been developed in tandem with the International Fire Aviation Guidelines and the International Manual of Common Rules for Fire Aviation.

Location of the Fire Ecology Research Group and GFMC
With the GFMC the Research Group is located in the Old Airport Tower Building at the new Airport Campus of Freiburg University (see maps and navigation aids in Address, communication and location map


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