From the 7th to 9th Januay 2013, the South European Foresters Union (USSE), the European Institute of Planted Forests (IEFC) and the Regional Association for the Protection of Forests from Fire (ARDFCI) organised the fourth international conference on Strategies for Forest Fire Prevention in Southern European Forests.
This important three day meeting held at the Cité Mondial Congress Centre in Bordeaux gathered participants from a variety of forest fire risk backgrounds from Algeria, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Spain and all over France.
Forest fire prevention and readiness were the two main topics on the agenda in the form of a large variety of talks and presentations, with an exploration into current knowledge on the matter and the sharing of technical and scientific experiences integrated into a political, economical and social framework.
In his welcome address the general director of the USSE and the Union for Foresters from the South-West (SSSO) highlighted the need to prioritise prevention when dealing with the issue of tackling forest fires and the lack of financial support from the European Union in this domain, a subject that was further developed by the Executive president of the USSE in the following session. Representatives from France and its neighbouring countries, Portugal, Spain and Italy explained how forest fire prevention policies are implemented in their respective countries and the benefit from EU funds.
On the second day, the focus turned to prevention equipment and management, with examples from Algeria (Université de Tizi Ouzou) amongst others and applied cartography for prevention.
The last day explored the coordination of prevention and readiness actions with case-studies from Quebec (SOPFEU), Europe (European Commission) and more locally, the South-West of France (DFCI Aquitaine). This final session concluded with the voting in favour of a motion for the European Union to re-establish its financial support for implementing forest fire prevention measures.