Initial landscape fire management (LFM) workshop in Podgorica


The initial landscape fire management (LFM) national workshop in the context of the Landscape Fire Management Programme in the Western Balkans (LFMWB) was organized in Podgorica on the 15th of March 2023. The LFM national workshop was organized by the LFMWB Country Partner Institution (CPI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Montenegro 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. Vladimir Joković, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Montenegro, pointed out that it is necessary to apply new approaches in forestry to reduce the risk of forest fires, therefore, it is essential to invest in fire prevention in order to preserve the forests and natural resources. The Landscape Fire Management in the Western Balkans Programme contributes to increasing the fire resistance of Western Balkan forests and landscapes, which will benefit the people who depend on these landscapes for their livelihoods and socio-economic development. The stated general goal of the Programme will be achieved by establishing long-term regional and national networks, strengthening the capacities of the stakeholders on LFM approaches, and revising policies and strategies. To achieve the goals of the Programme it is important to establish long-term national LFM networks that represent a science-practice-policy interface, said the Minister.

The LFMWB Programme comes as a need and common interest to increase regional cooperation so that the Western Balkans would be better prepared to face the risks and threats of forest fires as well as fires that occur on agricultural land, said the team leader of the Programme, Mr. Cvetan Nikolovski. He emphasized the necessity for holistic and timely responses, focusing 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, were thoroughly explained by the head of RFMC, Mr. Nikola Nikolov. He ensured a common understanding among the participants about landscape fire management, the current situation in the Western Balkans and possible cooperation at the national and regional levels.

Stakeholders from around 20 different relevant institutions including science, practices and policy sectors from the Republic of Montenegro actively participated in the workshop. They emphasized the importance of the Programme and interest in the LFM topic. During the discussion, the significance of fire prevention, the issue of the rural areas abandonment as well as the need for the cohesion of the LFM system at the national level were highlighted. The LFM stakeholders jointly expressed their willingness to have continuous work of the LFM network at the national level.

The LFM stakeholders will contribute to establishing a fully operational LFM network in the Republic of Montenegro in a participatory manner and cross-institutional collaboration with an aim jointly to create fire-resilient landscapes.

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