Second Landscape Fire Management Workshop in Banja Luka: Enhancing Cooperation and Building Resilience


In the framework of the SDC’s Landscape Fire Management in the Western Balkans (LFMWB) Programme, the second landscape fire management (LFM) workshop was held on the 21st of June, 2023, in Banja Luka. The workshop was organized by the LFMWB’s Country Partner Institution (CPI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska, in collaboration with the Regional Fire Monitoring Center (RFMC).

During the workshop, the national LFM stakeholders were introduced to the new Landscape Fire Governance Framework, which was presented at the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference in Porto. The workshop focused on the development of the Country report with LFM guidelines and the contribution of the national LFM network members (science-practice policy interface) to its development.

The workshop commenced with a welcome speech from Mr. Slavko Stupar, a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska. He acknowledged the importance of the LFMWB Programme in enhancing capacities, cooperation, and policies related to LFM within Republika Srpska, as well as fostering collaboration with other Western Balkan countries. He emphasized the significance of Country reports as a foundation for better understanding, planning, and effective response to landscape fire challenges. Mr. Stupar emphasized the crucial role of stakeholder participation in the Country report preparation process.

Following Mr. Stupar’s speech, Mr. Cvetan Nikolovski, the team leader of the LFMWB Programme, welcomed the participants and emphasized the need for regional cooperation in jointly addressing landscape fire risks and threats in the context of land use change and climate change. He underscored the importance of holistic and timely responses, with a focus on prevention, preparedness, and rethinking landscape fire management at local, national, and regional levels. He pointed out that the program advocates for a holistic approach to landscape fire management that encompasses forests, agricultural land, pastures, and peri-urban areas. While prevention is the primary focus, the significance of swift and effective interventions in fire control was also acknowledged.

The Regional Fire Monitoring Center’s head, Mr. Nikola Nikolov, provided a comprehensive explanation of the new Landscape Fire Governance Framework from the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference in Porto. His presentation highlighted the significance of prevention, society’s preparedness, and adaptive risk management in achieving Sustainable Development Goals and minimizing losses from landscape fires.

The Country report with LFM guidelines was presented by the Country Project Staff, Mr. Miroslav Rakita, and the stakeholders discussed their contribution in the process of developing the report.

The workshop witnessed active participation from stakeholders representing over 25 different institutions, including science, practices, and policy sectors from Republika Srpska. The attendees demonstrated keen interest in LFM and engaged in fruitful discussions, emphasizing the importance of implementing appropriate prevention measures and having concise LFM guidelines. They also highlighted the need for cohesive LFM systems at the national level. The LFM stakeholders expressed their commitment to continued collaboration within the LFM network in Republika Srpska.

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