ICAO Flying Forest Fire Fighting Dialogue

ICAO Flying Forest Fire Fighting Dialogue

22 November 2021
Virtual/Online ,
Registration is closed
Forests cover about 30% of Earth's land surface. Behind the oceans, forests are the second largest carbon sink on the planet, not to mention the carbon stored. They are also home to 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. They supply oxygen, protect soils and watersheds. They provide food, fuel, medicines, and building materials for human activity. They inspire wonder and provide places for recreation and relaxation.

Yet the forests are under threat. As provided in IPCC 2021 Climate Report, widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred due to the human influence. Climate change is already affecting every inhabited region across the globe, and every year large areas of forest are affected by fires worldwide. The number of fires and their size varies from year to year, but the risk of fire is increasing globally. Fires devastate ecosystems and threaten the safety of people as they spread. They can go out of control and can turn into environmental and human disasters.

With increasing awareness of the importance of safeguarding forests, the problem of forest fires has risen over the past years to the forefront of political and public awareness. The 2020 United Nations Summit on biodiversity highlighted the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development. It emphasized biodiversity conservation as a necessary condition for the achievements of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the fight against climate change.

Emergency responses to forest fire fighting involves both ground and air intervention forces. Although ground forces remain the principal lever of action and the coordinator of the overall response, aircraft play a crucial complementary role to control the escalation of fires. The aerial response to fires has improved over time, and contributing to this has been the continuous improvements of monitoring tools and early warning systems. However, there are always opportunities for further improvements.

During the Aviation Green Recovery Seminar, ICAO announced the launch of the ICAO Flying Forest Fire Fighting (I4F) Dialogue aiming at exchanging the information on existing activities, technologies and arrangements and facilitating the cooperation on aviation forest fire fighting activities among States and other relevant stakeholders, by sharing knowledge, experience and resources as well as by discussing possible areas of improvements and cooperation under the auspices of ICAO.

The I4F Dialogue will serve as a platform to exchange best practices, initiatives and strengthen international cooperation for aerial firefighting action. Please join us for this unique opportunity to know more on international firefighting practices and on aviation solutions and opportunities to support these crucial actions worldwide.

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