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To support the dissemination of available national forest fire information as well as fire management guidance, the consultants were requested to prepare a draft layout for an up-dated FAO Forest Fire Management Webpage. The following Webpage format was discussed and agreed upon, in principle, at the de-briefing at FAO on 19 July 2001:

(to be posted in the official languages of FAO, initially, in English, French and Spanish)

Forestry Forêts Montes

FAO, Forests and Fire

Fire has been a major influence on the development of many of the world's forests and on their management. Some forest ecosystems have evolved in response to frequent fire and are adapted to recurring fires in beneficial ways. But many forests are susceptible to the negative impacts of wildfires. Every year millions of hectares of the world's forests are burned by wildfires, resulting in enormous losses to people, property, and natural resources. Costs of fire suppression have been increasing and there has been a deplorable loss of life associated with many of these fires.

The vast majority of fires in forests and woodlands are caused by people, mainly as the result of using fire as a land management tool to convert forests into agricultural land, for converting forests to grazing land, for maintaining existing grazing lands, for converting forest lands to other purposes, and for facilitating the extraction of non-wood forest products. Fire also is used by resource management agencies to reduce the fire hazard in high priority areas, achieve silvicultural objectives, improve wildlife habitat, and to perpetuate natural ecosystems in national parks and wildernesses. Also, many wildfires result from the careless use of fire, human carelessness, negligence, and arson.

Although fire can degrade forests and lead to de-forestation, as an important ecosystem process it has a role to play in the health and maintenance of fire-adapted ecosystems. Thus, the traditional view in many societies of fire as a destructive agent requiring immediate suppression should be counter-balanced by the knowledge that fire can be used to meet land and resource management goals and objectives under specific ecological conditions.

FAO acknowledges that fire management is an integral part of the conservation and sustainable management of forests, and that the participation of local people in the planning and execution of fire management programmes is essential. For more than 50 years, FAO has provided information and technical assistance to its member countries in the area of forest fire management.

The following Webpage links provide access to important fire management elements:

More information on the FAO programme on fire management

The FAO Meeting on Public Policies Affecting Forest Fires

Wildland Fire Management Terminology

Global Fire Assessment: 1990-2000

Country Fire Profiles

International Fire Agreements


Guidelines for Community Participation in Fire Management

Guidelines for Implementing a Fire Prevention and Awareness Campaign

Guidelines for Strengthening Fire Suppression Capacity

Guidelines for Developing an Incident Command System for Firefighting



Frequently Asked Questions

An Inventory of International Fire Agreements and Operating Plans

Sample Agreement Between Spain and Morocco

Sample Agreement Between Chile and Argentina

Sample Agreement Between Canada and the United States

Sample Operating Plan Between Canada and the United States

Sample Agreement Between Mexico and the United States

Guidelines for Preparing International Fire Agreements


During the follow-up work to the Expert Meeting on Forest Fires, the International Consultant and the Legal Intern contacted the fire experts of the International Fire Management Network and invited their inputs and feedback regarding agreements, Country Profile format, and the FAO Webpage. Several additional International Fire Agreements were made available due to the efforts of network members.

In consultation with these experts and related international, regional and national institutes, additional members to the IFMN were proposed and a new mailing list was developed (Annex 6). The IFMN should be kept at an informal level to help ensure the spontaneity of responses and communications. One IFMN member suggested that it would be valuable for FAO to send out a brief bi-monthly newsletter to inform network members of developments and initiatives. Of course, network members also are encouraged to share fire information of general interest with others as was done with the Press Releases for the "Communities in Flames" Workshop that took place in Indonesia in July 2001.


Mr. Vladimir Sakharov, Chief, Environmental Emergency Section, Emergency Services Branch, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Geneva,

provided a briefing to the Fire Management Consultant on 10 July 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland, on the functioning of UN/OCHA and its possible roles in follow-up action. A summary of this briefing is given in Annex 7.

A briefing also was provided by Kit Prins and Jorge Najera in Geneva regarding their role in collecting wildfire data for industrialised countries under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.


Johann Goldammer and staff at the Global Fire Monitoring Center, Freiburg University, Germany, provided a briefing for the Fire Management Consultant on 12-13 July 2001 (See Annex 7). Operations of the Center in monitoring and recording the status of global wildland fires were described. One result of this visit to the GFMC was the drafting of a formal Agreement to strengthen cooperation between FAO and GFMC (See Annex 9).


Fire management specialists and researchers from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and South America, along with FAO Staff, identified 25 recommendations to strengthen international fire management programmes at a meeting sponsored by FAO in Rome, Italy, 7-9 March 2001. Not surprisingly, several of these recommendations emphasized the importance of International Fire Agreements, so that countries would be in a better position to assist each other during times of wildfire emergencies. Also, other recommendations encouraged the support of existing global fire management initiatives and called for mechanisms to better share information. FAO established the International Fire Management Network (IFMN) after the March meeting as a way to continue on-going communications among the fire experts regarding key fire issues.

In a follow-up to the Expert Fire Meeting of March 2001, the IFMN was asked to prioritize the Recommendations, so that an Action Plan could be developed that focused on the higher priority activities. The Action Plan specifies 19 priority activities for consideration and future action by FAO, Member countries, and collaborating agencies. The strategy of sharing the responsibility of implementing recommendations among all partners is an important one. The burden of implementation should not fall only on FAO.

Although only a few International Fire Agreements were identified at the Expert Meeting in March, additional efforts during the follow-up period have located about 14 Agreements and several Operating Plans. Most of these International Fire Agreement examples are bi-lateral in scope, although there could also be a substantial benefit to countries in developing multi-lateral or regional Agreements in the future.

FAO's available database of existing Agreements provides a technical and legal basis for other countries to use as examples in developing new Agreements. As Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States discovered during the 2000 fire season, the existence of completed Agreements greatly facilitated and expedited the development of new Agreements. Having model Agreements available allowed these four countries to complete a new multi-lateral Agreement in about a week's time. It will be important to actively share these model Agreements and guidelines through webpages and other means in order to benefit additional countries. Although a brief guideline was prepared for developing new Agreements, this is an area that would benefit from additional work. FAO could also pursue the use of Trust Funds in supporting the development of Agreements.

The most crucial time to implement International Fire Agreements is often during periods of drought when neighbouring countries may each be experiencing severe burning conditions and many wildfires. Responding to border fires under the guidelines found in Agreements can provide more timely suppression actions, reducing the size and costs of the fires. Some countries have discovered that they can offer assistance to other countries even when they are responding to critical domestic fires. Of course, countries in the Southern Hemisphere like Australia and New Zealand are in a position to respond easily to fires in the Northern Hemisphere where the fire seasons are reversed. The converse deployment of resources from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere also is feasible for the same reason.

It should also be noted that internal Agreements among agencies within a single country can be extremely useful in better responding to wildfires. For example, the wildfire organization can be strengthened through Agreements with the weather service, military, and other wildland fire suppression organizations so that additional services and resources are available.

It was obvious in meeting with OCHA and GFMC personnel that there is close coordination between these two entities in regularly documenting the status of emerging international wildfire emergencies. Rather than duplicate these important services elsewhere, it appears that the more efficient approach would be in supporting these efforts in ways to ensure maximum effectiveness. FAO already is taking steps to provide closer information sharing and cooperation with these organizations.

It was apparent during the follow-up to the Expert Meeting that the IFMN was very useful to FAO in providing timely information and technical advice. Steps should be taken to maintain the IFMN as a vital consulting group for on-going fire management initiatives undertaken by FAO.

Annex 1

7-9 March 2001


Mr Panagiotis K. Balatsos
Senior Member
Directorate of Forest Protection
Dept. of Forest Fire Prevention
& Suppression
General Secretariat for Forests
and the Natural Environment
Ministry of Agriculture
Ippokratous 3-5
10164 Athens
Tel: +301 2124694
Fax: +301 3614015
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Million Bekele
Team Leader for Forest and Wildlife
Ministry of Agriculture
P.O. Box 62347
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 1 55085
Fax: +251 1 518977

Mr Oscar Cedeño S.
Director de Protección Forestal
Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y
Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAP)
Av. Progreso No. 5, Col. del Carmen
Coyoacán 04100
Mexico, DF
Tel: +52 55540612
Fax: +52 55547097
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Efransjah
Projects Manager (Asia & Pacific)
Reforestation and Forest Management
International Tropical Timber
Organization (ITTO)
International Organizations Center 5F
Pacifico-Yokohama, 1-1-1 Minato-Mirai
Tel: +81 45 223 1110
Fax: +81 45 223 1111
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Johann G. Goldammer
Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)
International Strategy for Disaster
Reduction (ISDR)
c/o Freiburg University
P.O. Box
D-79085 Freiburg
Tel: +49 761 808011
Fax: +49 761 808012
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Johan P. Heine
Manager, Forest Fire Association
P.O. Box 4555
West Acres, Nelspruit 1200
South Africa
Tel: +27 12 7411030
Fax: +27 12 741 1935
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Mustafa Kizmaz
Director of Research and Planning
Research Planning and Coordination
General Directorate of Forestry
Tel: +90 312 223 4505
Fax: +90 312 222 7336
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr P.F. Moore
Coordinator, IUCN/WWF Project
P.O. Box 6596JKPWB
Tel: +62 251 622 622
Fax: +62 251 622 100
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Samsudin Musa
Senior Research Officer
Natural Forest Division
Forest Research Institute Malaysia
52109 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 62702347
Fax: +603 62779643
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Robert W. Mutch
Fire Management Consultant
4118 Colonial Lane
Missoula, Montana 59804
Tel: +1 406 5427402
Fax: +1 406 3294877
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Davide Pontani7
Direzione Generale delle Risorse
Forestali, Montane ed Idriche
Divisione 12a
Via G. Carducci, 5
00187 Rome
Tel: +39 06 85856630
Fax: +39 06 85856084
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Patricio I. Sanhueza
Chief, Fire Operations
Fire Management Department
Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF)
Ministry of Agriculture
Avenida Bulnes 285, Of. 201
Tel: +56 2 390 0180-0181
Fax: +56 2 699 4605
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Richard Sneeuwjagt
Manager Fire Protection
Dept. of Conservation and
Land Management, West Australia
17 Dick Perry Drive
W. Australia 6152
Fax: +61 8 93679913
Tel: +61 8 93340375
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Ronaldo V. Soares
Professor on Forest Fire Management
Forestry School - UFPR
Av. Lothario Meissner 3400
80210-170 Curitiba, PR
Tel: +55 41 360 4229
Fax: +55 41 360 4209 / 360 4221
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Brian J. Stocks
Senior Research Scientist
Forest Fire and Global Change
Canadian Forest Service
Natural Resources Canada
1219 Queen St. East
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A5M7
Tel: +1 705 759 5740 x 2181
Fax: +1 705 759 5712
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Jan Troensegaard
JANTRO Forestry Consulting
Herningvej 51
7800 Skive
Tel: +45 97 53 4333
Fax: +45 97 534202
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Ricardo Vélez
Jefe, Area de Defensa contra
Incendios Forestales
Dirección General de Conservación
de la Naturaleza
Ministerio de Medio Ambiente
Gran Vía de San Francisco, 4
28008 Madrid
Tel: +34 91 3665104
Fax: + 34 91 3658379
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Gavriil Xanthopoulos
Advisor to the Minister
Ministry of Public Order
Natural Resource Technologies
31 Mouson str.
Athens, 17562
Tel: +30 1 9889295
Fax: +30 1 9816221
E-mail: [email protected]


Mr E.H. Sène
Director, Forest Resources Division
Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
I-00100 Rome, Italy
Tel. 39-0657055978
Fax. 39-0657055137
E-mail: [email protected]

Ms Gillian Allard
Forestry Officer (Protection)
Forest Resources Development Service
Forest Resources Division
Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
I-00100 Rome, Italy
Tel. 39-0657053373
Fax. 39-0657055137
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr J.B. Carle
Senior Forestry Officer (Plantations
and Protection)
Forest Resources Development Service
Forest Resources Division
Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
I-00100 Rome, Italy
Tel. 39-0657055296
Fax. 39-0657055137
E-mail: [email protected]

Ms Christel Palmberg-Lerche
Chief, Forest Resources Development Service
Forest Resources Division
Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
I-00100 Rome, Italy
Tel. 39-0657053841
Fax. 39-0657055137
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr M. Paveri
Chief, Forestry Policy and Institutions Branch
Forest Policy and Planning Division
Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
I-00100 Rome, Italy
Tel. 39-0657052196
Fax. 39-0657055137
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr A. Mekouar
Senior Legal Officer
Development Law Service
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
I-00100 Rome, Italy
Tel. 39-0657055612
E-mail: [email protected]

Annex 2


(1) Review and further refine the Provisional Action Plan and Schedule for Implementation of Recommendations; and the chart of Fire Seasons in Different Countries, prepared following the Expert Meeting.

(2) Review and analyze available information on formal and informal agreements at bilateral, regional and international levels, aimed at coordinating efforts and share resources, personnel and equipment in situations of emergency and in preparation of such events. Document and summarize related information. Prepare draft guidelines in the form of a checklist for developing such agreements and related operating plans and protocols.

(3) Review and further develop the forest fire reporting database available on the Forest Resources Assessment Programme Web-page, including the identification of additional fire management information proposed to be included in the country profiles. Prepare a draft layout for an FAO Forest Wildfire Management Web-page.

(4) Contact members/experts in the incipient Fire Management Network (FMN) and seek their inputs into (1)-(3) above. In consultation with these experts and related international, regional and national institutes, propose additional members to the FMN and preliminarily approach these. Prepare a mailing list for future communications. Consult the FMN members and other relevant sources regarding possible country focal points.

(5) Identify programme areas and projects for possible outside support, prepare draft project outlines and project ideas, as applicable.

(6) Prepare a summary report on findings, annexing lists of fire management network members and country focal points, as well as a list of present and potential international partners and their main mandates.

Annex 3


During the International Expert Meeting on Forest Fire Management, the experts recognised the fundamental requirement for effective sustainable forest and land management policies and practices. To achieve this objective, an overriding priority was the establishment of agreements for mutual assistance in preparation for and emergency response to fire events, in order to better share international fire management resources, knowledge and understanding.

Widespread emergencies in recent years in all regions of the world have underscored the importance of having fire management cooperation arrangements on mutual assistance and emergency response established in advance of fires, thus this internship will investigate the legal side of this procedure.


Under the direct supervision and guidance of the Chief of Forest Policy and Institutions Branch, Forestry Department and Senior Legal Officer, Development Law Service, Legal Office, and in consultation with Chief Forest Resources Development Services, Forestry Department, the Legal Intern will work closely with the International Consultant, Mr Robert Mutch (whose TORs are attached), and will carry out the following tasks:

· Acquaint herself with legal and technical aspects of forest fire management, including related legal and institutional frameworks.

· Contribute to the collection and review of the emergency response agreements to be inventoried by the International Consultant, with a view to categorizing them as well as identifying and describing their main common elements.

· Based on this inventory and analysis of emergency response agreements, contribute to the preparation of guidelines or models to be used for developing such agreements and related operating plans and protocols for interested countries.

· Contribute to the preparation of a questionnaire soliciting opportunities for developing new emergency response agreements, taking account of OCHA's "Environmental Emergency Notification" questionnaire, as appropriate.

To achieve the above tasks, the intern will review and, where appropriate, make use of the following:

· Existing mechanisms for the establishment of agreements among groups of two or more countries aimed at coordinating efforts to establish norms and to share resources, personnel and equipment in situations of emergency.

· Regional and global agreements that are relevant to forest fire management, in such regions or under such institutions as CILSS, SADC, Mediterranean, Baltic, Southeast Asia, Central America, Caribbean, South America.

· Existing national and sub-national legislation on forest fire management.

7 Joined, in some sessions, by Mr. Dario Morini, Centro Coordinamento Aereo Unificato, Dipartimento della Protezione Civile (Rome, Italy)

8 A number of other colleagues from the Forestry Department attended the Opening and part of the sessions of the meeting.

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