The Work of the UNECE/FAO Team
of Specialists on Forest Fir
e


As a result of limited secretariat resources, countries members of the Joint FAO/ECE/ILO Committee on Forest Technology, Management and Training, have taken the challenge to undertake more work themselves, by entrusting to Teams of Specialists several of its activities, especially those where specific expertise is required. The Team of Specialists on Forest Fire was created in the early 1980s and reorganized in 1993. The Team's main task is to provide a critical link in communication and cooperation between fire scientists, managers and policy makers. The main activities embrace (1) the production of International Forest Fire News (IFFN) through the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC); (2) organization of seminars; and (3) promotion of synergistic collaboration between governments, non-government institutions, and individuals, with emphasis on science and technology transfer, and support for developing fire management policies. The scope of the work of the Fire Team includes the countries belonging to the six Regional Wildland Fire Networks geographically located within the ECE region, as well as countries and Regional Wildland Fire Networks outside the ECE (for details on the UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network and the six regional networks: see further down). Main emphasis of the work of the Team is in assisting countries of the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region in building national capacity in fire management, development of national policies and addressing the specific problems in the region, including transboundary cooperation in fire management. With this regional focus it is intended not to overlap with the ongoing work of the European Commission through its European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) in the Western part of the UNECE region, notably in the Mediterranean space (in conjunction with the Silva Mediterranea Fire Group) and the “Fire Management Working Group” of the North American Forestry Commission. However, the GFMC acting as Secretariat of the Global Wildland Fire Network and chair of the ToS ensures the continuing dialogue and cooperation between all regional wildland fire networks globally and exchange of information and cooperation with UN agencies and programmes as well as other international organizations contributing to global vegetation fire research, monitoring, assessment and capacity building in fire management (see also: UN Inter-Agency Cooperation and Coordination in Wildland Fire Management Including Key International Organizations. A Review by the Global Fire Monitoring Center). The work of the ToS will phase out in July 2014 after it has successfully completed its mission. The Regional Wildland Fire Network covering the UNECE Region (cf. further below) will continue to represent the interests of UNECE Member States in the Global Wildland Fire Network and the Wildland Fire Advisory Group and its associated bodies and activities.

Participants of the UNECE/FAO Regional Forum on Cross-boundary Fire Management
Palais des Nations, Geneva,
28-29 November 2013
Forum Outline and Agenda (Final version: 27 November 2013)
Forum Statement
(Final version: 5 December 2013)
Forum Statement (Russian and English version: 5 December 2013)

International Forest Fire News
International Forest Fire News (IFFN) is published bi-annually since 1988. It initiated a steadily increasing communication process in international fire matters. Since then IFFN provides an international information platform on which advances in fire research, technology and policy development are reported and disseminated. Until 2007 the printed version of IFFN has been subscribed by more than 1000 agencies, research laboratories and individuals all over the world. Starting with its 19th issue (August 1998) the IFFN are available on the website of the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC). The website includes all past issues since 1990 which are organized in 80 country folders and several other special files. The production of IFFN since 2007 has been delayed and will be resumed as digital version only by the end of 2010.

Forest Fire Statistics
Until 2001 one of the activities of the UNECE Forestry and Timber Section in the field of forest fires included the periodic collection and publication of fire statistics of the member states. The last data set covers the period 1999-2001. The statistics can be obtained at:

Regional Wildland Fire Networks within the ECE Region
Since 2002 – and especially since its official endorsement by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) – the Global Fire Monitoring Center has sucessfully facilitated the establishment of Regional Wildland Fire Networks. Within the UNECE region five new regional networks have been established since 2002:

 

·     Regional Eurasian Wildland Fire Network

·     Regional Southeast Europe / Caucasus Wildland Fire Network

·     Regional Central Asia Wildland Fire Network

·     Regional Northeast Asia Wildland Fire Network

·     Sub-regional Euro-Alpine Wildland Fire Network

Earlier existing regional networks:

Seminars
Thematic seminars and conferences conducted by the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire between 1981 and 2010:

Overviews of activities
R
egional network meetings, conferences and capacity building within the three regional networks in the EECCA region:

Forest Fire Exercises
In conjunction with and as a follow-up of the Antalya conference the Team of Specialists organized a forest fire exercise together with the host country Bulgaria in 2005. The next forest fire exercise was held in Armenia in 2011.

Team Members

Planned conferences, seminars and Team meetings

UNECE Timber Committee and Fire Team Documents and Reports


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