From May 15th to 19th 2023 in Portugal will take place the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference. These conferences are aimed at promoting exchange of expertise and international cooperation in wildland fire management gathering thousands of participants around the world and overseen by The International Liaison Committee (ILC), serving as an advisory and liaison body to the hosts of the conferences. The ILC recognizes that landscape fire management is an international issue, thus working closely with conference hosts and seeking new opportunities for sharing experiences in this area of knowledge.
On May 17th the International Model Forest Network will organize a panel on the “Social Participation and Local Fire Governance through International Networks”. It will be the occasion to share experiences and best practices from some of the Model Forest of the network, including those in the Mediterranean.
Fire is commonly used around the world as a landscape management tool. In many countries where national fire management programs and resources are distant, members of the immediate community are the planners and practitioners of fire management. In these situations, local governance is critical to successful fire management. A key objective of the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) is to bring together voluntary, intersectoral and broad participatory social platforms as processes for sustainable management of forested landscapes. Participatory governance is at the heart of these processes, including Community-Based Fire Management (CBFiM).
Through successful initiatives such as RESTAURaccion: Wildfire restoration in Latin America, local fire management capacity building is championed according to the principles and philosophy of the IMFN. Through workshops, small-scale research, field demonstrations, and other technology transfer mechanisms, the IMFN and the Regional Latin American Model Forest Network (RLABM) are building a new community-based fire culture that brings together 34 governance platforms in 15 Latin American countries based on awareness, knowledge and social organization.
The open conference session, organized by the IMFN, will present summaries of fire management initiatives in the RLABM, together with the experiences and best practices of the Mediterranean Model Forest Network in fire management and some application of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System as a locally-calibrated fire danger rating and early warning system to supports CBFiM.
These efforts to integrate local governance with fire science, technology and management practices, allow local communities to confidently implement prescribed fire programs for landscape management, and suppression programs for wildfire protection.
The appointment is in Porto on 17 May at 6.15 pm, more information about the venue and how to participate at the event are available on the International Wildland Fire Conference website.