First National Coordination Meeting on Enhancing Fire Management Capacity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

22 September 2016, 10:00

FIRST NATIONAL COORDINATION MEETING ON ENHANCING FIRE MANAGEMENT CAPACITY IN THE CHERNOBYL EXCLUSION ZONE

22-23 September 2016
Venue: Holiday Inn, 100 Velyka Vasylkivska Street, Kyiv, Ukraine


Background and Rationale

     As a consequence of climate change and socio-economic and demographic changes the countries of Eastern Europe are becoming more vulnerable to large wildfires. Wildfires burning in environments contaminated by radioactivity, unexploded ordinances and chemical substances create additional non-standard risks to firefighters and may have negative health impacts on firefighters and local populations. The most serious threats arise from fires burning vegetation contaminated by radioactivity after the failure of Reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. The overall increasing threats of extreme wildfires, which may lead to emergencies and reach disaster dimensions, call for enhancing coordinated preparedness and suppression capabilities at the national level. The potential transnational environmental implications for extreme wildfires burning on radioactively contaminated terrain in the environment, on human health and security have prompted international organizations and bilateral donors to support Ukraine in building fire management capacities.
     In order to prevent large wildfires in future, increase preparedness and capabilities of fire brigades in the exclusion zone US Forest Service launched a special bilateral program. The program comprising of four national interagency coordination meetings, training of fire personnel from the exclusion zone by leading US experts in emergency management and the purchase of equipment for the system for early detection of fires in the exclusion zone.Regional organizations such the Council of Europe (through the Euro-Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement – EUR-OPA) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as the United Nations (through the UN Environment Programme – UNEP) are cooperating towards a resource-sharing approach. Bilateral programmes between the United States of America and Ukraine, implemented by the U.S. Forest Service, and the work of specialized international and regional institutions such as the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) and the Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC), endeavor to harmonize and overall agenda. 
     A first and prime step towards enhancing national fire management capabilities is the development of effective and efficient inter-agency coordination. The highest priority should be given to develop and implement an interagency mechanism to reduce the consequences of extreme wildfires burning in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ).

Organization of the First National Coordination Meeting

     The First National Coordination Meeting on Enhancing Fire Management Capacity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone will be held on 22-23 September 2016 in Kyiv. The Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC), Kyiv, will support the U.S. Forest Service, International Programs, in the preparation, logistical / organization of the meeting.

Objectives of the First National Coordination Meeting

- Review the wildfire threats and fire management capabilities in the ChEZ
- Provide international experience in the development of inter-agency / cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination in fire management
- Define the challenges for fire management in the ChEZ

Expected outcomes of the First National Coordination Meeting

- Proposals for establishment of an Inter-Agency Task Force on Fire Management in the ChEZ
- Identification of shortcomings and problems of the system of preventing, suppression and interagency cooperation during suppression of fires in the ChEZ;
- Proposals for improvement of prevention, response, preparedness for and coordination of fire suppression in the ChEZ and increase of its effectiveness;
- Recommendation for the preparation of a National Round Table aimed at addressing fire management at national level beyond the ChEZ (including the agricultural domain, general public health and security, role of civil society organizations and NGOs involved in fire management, etc.);
- Recommendation for the preparation of a Regional Consultation on Fire Management aimed at enhancing cross-border cooperation in fire management

Organized by:
- United States Forest Service International Programs
- State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Management
- State Service of Ukraine on Emergencies
- Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC) / National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv

With participation:
- Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
- Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), Freiburg, Germany

 


Contacts

 

United States Forest Service International Programs

 

 

Shelia Slemp

Russia, Europe, and Near Asia Desk

Washington, DC 20005

U.S.A.

 

Tel:         +1-202-644-4558

Cell:        +1-202-459-3400

e-mail:   [email protected]

Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC) / National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine

 

Sergiy Zibtsev

Head, REEFMC

c/o Institute of Forestry and Landscape-Park Management

15, Geroiv Oborony Str.

03041 Kyiv

Ukraine

 

Tel:         +38-044-527-82-82

Fax:        +38-044-527-82-82

Cell:        +38-067-261-16-82

e-mail:   [email protected] 

URL:       http://nubip.edu.ua/en/reefmc

 

 

 

 

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