eFIRECOM

2015-03-06

ABOUT eFIRECOM /

The low social awareness of the exposure to fire risk combined with the reduced individual capacity to prevent and face emergencies, increase both social vulnerability and the cost of civil protection actions. In the Mediterranean region, these factors are intensified by the increasing risk of forest fires affecting urban and peri‐urban areas due to land use changes (increased contact between forests and houses) and climate change (causing extreme fire events in sometimes unusual areas).

Both factors lead to more intense fires that spread easily within the wildland‐urban environment, compromising the safety of persons, fire‐fighting services and infrastructures. The population is largely unaware of the risk and how to act in case of fire, and in turn, the need to protect people and infrastructures may compromise the resources available for fire suppression.

Moreover, communication and awareness policies usually have a limited scope and focus on general communication, and at best, intend to improve the organization of the affected populations in case of emergency, but they do not really promote a holistic culture of risk that allows to bring individual responsibility at the heart of prevention and preparedness. Therefore, it is necessary to raise individual awareness on the risk exposure and individual self‐protection capacity, in order to reduce the social costs of wildfires, help achieve more cost‐efficient policies and build more resilient societies.

 WEB Project eFIRECOM >

MAIN GOAL / eFIRECOM aims at enhancing the resilience of citizens to wildfires in interface areas from the Mediterranean region, through effectively promoting and increasing awareness and participation on the culture of risk with updated knowledge and best practices.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

1) To analyse the current level of risk communication (and the tools used) in different Mediterranean countries (with special focus in Algeria and Tunisia) for different target groups (citizens of wildland urban areas, users of fire risk areas, local entities and municipalities, scholars and their teachers, as well as journalists);

2) To share experiences and lessons learned on the development of risk communication tools;

3) To develop and test social participation and communication tools on wildfire risk, adapted to each target group in EU and non‐EU countries;

4) To prepare and promote technical and policy recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of the communication on wildfire risk and to reduce social vulnerability to wildfires in the Mediterranean region, with special attention to North African countries.

RESULTS / The results will be up‐scaled and transferred to other areas in Europe and from the Mediterranean that might be affected by episodes of extreme fire in the near future, and will be useful to the strategic communication of other natural hazards such as floods, storms or avalanches. The tools developed will be proposed to UNISDR, in case they want to integrate them into their toolkit for Making Cities Resilient.

CONSORTIUM CTFC - Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya (Project Coordinator, Spain), EFIMEDFORESPIR (France), Direction Générale des Forêts de Tunisie (Tunisia), Université Hadj Lakhdar Batna (Algeria), Pau Costa Foundation (Spain)

ACTIONS:

KO Meeting, Barcelona >


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