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


As an integral component of the SDC’s Landscape Fire Management in the Western Balkans (LFMWB) Programme, the second landscape fire management (LFM) workshop of the national LFM network took place on the 1st of September 2023, in Skopje. The workshop was organized by the LFMWB’s Country Partner Institution (CPI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy (MAFWE) of North Macedonia, in collaboration with the Regional Fire Monitoring Center (RFMC).

The workshop served as an informative platform for national LFM stakeholders, introducing them to the Landscape Fire Governance Framework unveiled at the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference in Porto. An essential focus of the workshop was the development of a Country report with LFM guidelines, with active contributions from members of the national LFM network, fostering a harmonious synergy between science, practice, and policy.

The workshop commenced with a welcome speech from Mr. Sasha Jovanovic, the head of the Forestry and Hunting Sector at the MAFWE. He acknowledged the importance of the LFMWB Programme in enhancing capacities, cooperation, and policies related to LFM in North Macedonia, as well as fostering collaboration with other Western Balkan countries. Mr. Jovanovic emphasized the importance of Country reports as foundational documents for understanding and responding effectively to landscape fire challenges. Mr. Jovanovic emphasized the crucial role of stakeholder participation in the Country report preparation process.

Following Mr. Jovanovic‘s speech, Mr. Cvetan Nikolovski, the team leader of the LFMWB Programme, extended a warm welcome to participants. He emphasized the importance of regional collaboration in jointly tackling landscape fire risks and threats, especially in the context of the changes in land use patterns and climate dynamics. Mr. Nikolovski underscored the necessity for timely responses, prioritizing prevention, preparedness, and the holistic LFM approach at local, national, and regional levels. He outlined the Programmes comprehensive approach to LFM with a focus on prevention, encompassing not just forests but also agricultural land, pastures, and peri-urban areas.

The head of the Regional Fire Monitoring Center, Mr. Nikola Nikolov, had a detailed presentation of the Landscape Fire Governance Framework introduced at the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference in Porto. His presentation underscored the LFM approach that incorporates fire risk considerations and engagement of various stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of prevention, preparedness, and adaptive fire risk management.

The Country report with LFM guidelines was presented by Country Project Staff, Mr. Bojan Mihajlovski, which fostered a constructive discussion on stakeholders’ involvement in its development process.

The workshop witnessed engagement from a diverse group of stakeholders, representing more than 40 institutions, including scientific, practical, and policy sectors from North Macedonia. Attendees not only displayed a strong interest in LFM but also actively participated in constructive discussions, underscoring the significance of implementing effective prevention measures and establishing concise LFM guidelines. Furthermore, they emphasized the necessity for unified LFM systems on a national scale. The LFM stakeholders expressed their dedication to continuous collaboration within the LFM network in North Macedonia.

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