Porto, Portugal - 2023
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Globally, wildfires and excessive application of fire in land use and land-use change are an unprecedented and growing threat to communities and to natural, cultural, rural, urban, and industrial landscapes. The problem is increasing due to the consequences of social, economic, and ecological changes (land-use change, demographic change, ecosystem degradation) and climate change. This is impacting the sustainability of natural and cultural landscapes, including their ecosystem services, human health and security, and the loss of public and private assets, including critical infrastructure. The increasing occurrence and duration of droughts in all continents have resulted in wildfires of high severity, which are difficult and often impossible to control and lead to ecosystem degradation with subsequent secondary damages such as loss of topsoil, floods, erosion, or landslides, resulting in the loss of stability, biodiversity, and productivity of natural and cultural landscapes.
Streamlining the effectiveness and efficiency of international cooperation towards enhanced governance in wildland fire management at local, national, regional, and international level will require an international instrument, which relies on and further strengthens the history of initiatives and achievements of international cooperation in wildland fire management. Countries, intergovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders are encouraged supporting the call for an International Wildland Fire Management Framework.
In support of this process, the Committee of the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference, which will be held in May 2023 in Porto, Portugal, will work with scientists and practitioners to compile and draft “International Principles for Integrated Landscape Fire Management Governance”, which will provide guidance for the development of national and cross-boundary policies for wildland fire management and their application in practice.