Initial landscape fire management (LFM) workshop in Banja Luka


In the framework of the Landscape Fire Management Programme in the Western Balkans (LFMWB) initial landscape fire management (LFM) workshop was organized in Banja Luka on 2nd of March 2023 by the LFMWB Country Partner Institution (CPI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska in cooperation with the Regional Fire Monitoring Center (RFMC). In the workshop, the LFM stakeholders had an opportunity to be introduced to the objectives of the LFMWB Programme, the LFM concept, their role as members of the LFM networks (science-practice policy interface) and their contribution to the process of developing Country reports with LFM guidelines.

At the beginning of the workshop, Mr. Savo Minic, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska, welcomed the representatives from different institutions. He highlighted the significance of the LFMWB Programme for establishing better capacities, cooperation, and policies at the level of the Republika Srpska as well as the willingness to cooperate with other Western Balkan countries. Furthermore, he acknowledged the continuous support of the Ministry for implementing the activities of the LFMWB Programme.

Mr. Cvetan Nikolovski, team leader of the LFMWB Programme, continued with his welcoming speech on which he greeted the participants an pointed out the need for regional cooperation to jointly tackle the risks and threats of landscape fires, in the context of land use change and climate change. He emphasized the necessity for holistic and timely responses with a focus on prevention and preparedness and thoroughly rethinking landscape fire management at the local, national and regional levels. He specified that the LFMWB Programme builds on national and international know-how and expertise, on transboundary action, and has the ambition to contribute to a substantial and lasting collaboration in the Western Balkan.

The principles of the landscape fire management approach and the role of RFMC, as the regional cooperation mechanism and knowledge network on LFM in the Western Balkans was thoroughly explained by the head of RFMC, Mr. Nikola Nikolov. The aim of his presentation was to create common understanding among the participants about landscape fire management, current situation in the Western Balkans and possible cooperation at national and regional level.

Stakeholders from over 25 different relevant institutions including science, practices and policy sectors from the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina actively participated in the workshop. They showed their interest in the LFM topic and had fruitful discussions during which they emphasized the importance of taking appropriate prevention measures. Moreover, they highlighted the issue of the rural exodus as well as the need for the cohesion of the LFM system at the national level. The LFM stakeholders jointly expressed their willingness to have continuous work of the LFM network at the level of the Republika Srpska.

With the Initial LFM workshop, the stakeholders jointly embarked on the journey of establishing a fully operational LFM network at the level of the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina which in a participatory manner and cross-sectoral collaboration would contribute to creating fire-resilient landscapes.

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