Wildfire management focus of OSCE organized workshop for South-East Europe

The South East Europe regional workshop on landscape fire management concluded on 19 December 2018 in Skopje.

The two-day workshop brought together fire management and forest management authorities from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

“Wildfires represent a serious challenge for most of the countries in the South-Eastern Europe region, which is becoming increasingly affected by climate change and socio-economic changes,” said Goran Stojkovski, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Johann Georg Goldammer, Director of the Global Fire Monitoring Center, said fires are becoming more intense and more difficult to control due to the increasing accumulation of combustible materials in different landscapes abandoned by people, mainly agricultural lands. A comprehensive and holistic approach is needed to address this threat”.

Nikola Nikolov, Head of the Regional Fire Monitoring Center for South-Eastern Europe and South Caucasus, said: “Significant progress has been made in the region on sharing information, knowledge and best practices in fire management across borders and this workshop provides an opportunity for planning next steps.”

“Disaster risk reduction is a priority for the OSCE in its comprehensive approach to security. Strengthening national and regional capacities on wildfire management is among our main activities in this context,” said Christian Melis, Environmental Governance Officer at the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities.

Organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities with the support of Global Fire Monitoring Center and the Regional Fire Monitoring Center for South-Eastern Europe and South Caucasus, the workshop allowed for an exchange of best practices and lessons learnt on wildfire management and identified synergies and opportunities for co-operation among the countries of South Eastern Europe.

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