PyroLife Innovative Training Network held a total of multidisciplinary 15 webinars during confinement within the PyroLife Project. During these online sessions online courses international experts on wildland fires shared their knowledge, while also paying close attention to local and traditional fire knowledge and the cultures that revolve around fire.
PyroLife Symposium Participants
The international panelists shared their experience with the more than 400 people registered every Wednesday from different parts of the globe. Although PyroLife's focus is on knowledge sharing within Europe, these webinars included experiences and lessons from virtually every continent. From the academic field, key universities such as Wageningen University, University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, University of Wollongong, And the Universitat Oberta de CatalunyaLikewise, institutions aimed at research, policy and action shared their wisdom, such CREAF, Arup, Tecnosylva, FAO, European Forest Institute, New Zealand Forest Research Institute, Pau Costa Foundationand CERIDES
For an hour and a half the experts and virtual assistants were able to dialogue and express their curiosities, concerns or doubts about the different topics presented. Some key concepts that stood out over the past eight weeks included the diversities that exist in fires. The experts described differences and overlaps in southern and northern European contexts, and which one is it , and important particularities in ecosystems and social structures, especially in the context of climate change.
Instead, other panellists wanted to delve into how to prepare cities and landscapes to deal with today's fires, using appropriate technologies. Researchers from the Netherlands also shared their experience on “living with water” and managing flood risks. In addition, they offered perspectives on what participatory strategies may be relevant to other places by learning to “live with fire. Therefore, the question was almost forced; if in some countries like Holland you can live with water, “live with fire". They posed a necessary question: if some countries can learn to live with water, why can't we learn to live with fire, too?
We also learned about indigenous fire knowledge from Australia and New Zealand, and particularly the important role of women in cultural burns. cultural fireMeanwhile, perspectives from Catalonia and the US brought us closer to translating the language of research into the operational field and society. This also has important implications for how to involve and empower a very complex public in managing risk in their own communities. Lastly, we considered the transversal role of politics in our fire-prone ecosystems, and the urgency of more effective policies at local and European levels..
Thanks to these webinars, I reckon we are forming closer links between the operational world and research a considerable challenge that continues today. Additionally, I believe we are slowly progressing toward a more widespread awareness of living with fire rather than fighting against it, encouraging one open mind at a time.
Watch the webinars here
Each PyroLife Symposium presentation was recorded, so you can watch them whenever you want. Also, I encourage you to read the reflections written by the Early Stage Researchers for each presentation, they are worth it! You can take a look here.
On the other hand, I would like to announce that starting this Fall there will be a monthly PyroLife webinar, which will last throughout the project's four year duration. More international experts, professionals, stakeholders and land stewards will be invited to share their knowledge. I wish to express my sincerest gratitude to be part of a project like PyroLife Project which thrives on the collaboration of so many diverse, creative and enthusiastic change-makers.