The project Support to wildfire management in the Amazon and Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region aims at collaborating together with key stakeholders towards a strategic, targeted and comprehensive approach to manage wildfires in the region. This will be achived through the use of a common wildfire early warning and monitoring system, the Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS), and the establishment of a LAC expert group on forest fires.
The European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have a longstanding relationship based on common values and established on a legal framework with most of the 33 LAC countries, through association and trade agreements and political and cooperation dialogues, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development cooperation, and the fight against climate change through the Paris Agreement. Adaptation to climate change and environmental resilience. Wildfires constitute a major threat in many LAC countries, as they cause large environmental and economic losses every year. The urge to address this global issue in an efficient way resides in the capacity to tackle it through instruments that improve international collaboration between countries, and this is a core element of the relationship between the EU and LAC in this project.
Two regions in Action for a green and safe environment
Through sharing the experience in establishing a pan-European Expert Group on Forest Fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, the EU intends to collaborate with fire management experts in the LAC countries to support the establishment of a LAC expert group on forest fires, which could help on e.g. providing guidelines fire prevention, fire risk assessment and serve as a platform for exchange and knowledge and best practices on wildfire management among the countries.
Convergent and harmonized data
Through the use of GWIS, the LAC countries have access to historical and near real-time information on wildfires at regional, country and subcountry level, facilitating exchange of information and comparability of the fire situation in the different countries. GWIS, which is a joint initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and of Copernicus – EU´s Earth observation programs, brings together existing information sources at a national and regional level to provide a comprehensive view and evaluate fire regimes and fire effects at global scale. GWIS compatibility with national LAC systems makes it a flexible and adaptable tool for concrete methodologies and needs. This system may constitute an essential tool for the LAC region to share harmonized data to support regional policies.
Transfer of knowledge
The EU, LAC countries and international organizations in LAC, aim at establishing an expert group forest fires (EGFF_LAC) to exchange knowledge and best practices on wildfire management, which, next to harmonized information provided by GWIS, could lead to strategic actions to minimize the impact of wildfires in the region. The EGFF_LAC will facilitate the transfer and exchange of essential information and knowledge on wildfire management for fire policies at a national and regional level.