The International Liaison Committee (ILC), the UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network and the supporting organisational framework
The International Liaison Committee
The International Liaison Committee is chaired and funded by the United States Forest Service. Its purpose is to ensure that the views, issues and needs of the global community are represented in the themes, speakers and programme of the conference. This has been translated into the following general objectives.
- Bring together a global group of wildland fire experts to advise the National Organizing Committee ( Steering committee appointed in the host counrty) for the International Wildland Fire Conference.
- Provide input and advice to the National Organising Committee ( NOC) on important local and regional issues, themes, topics for the conference programme.
- Provide input and advice on experts and potential speakers.
- Provide or recruit sponsors from each region for the conference or trade show.
- Recruit conference attendees from all regions.
The UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network
In 2001 a Working Group on Wildland Fire was established under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction ( IATF/DR) of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR). The working group provided an international platform and forum with the overall aim of bringing together technical members of the fire community and policy authorities at national to international levels to realize their common interests in fire management at a global scale. Among other activities, the working group initiated the establishment of the UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network (GWFN), under which the Regional Wildland Fire Networks are playing a key role in developing international partnerships and cooperation in fire management.
The Wildland Fire Advisory Group (WFAG) is serving as an advisory body to the UN system, which provides technical, scientific and policy-supporting advice to the UN family through the UNISDR, and acting as a liaison between the United Nations system, the Global Wildland Fire Network and its supporting partners.
The Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) is mandated to serve as convener and secretariat of the WFAG and GWFN.
The UNISDR Regional Sub-Sahara Wildland Fire Network "AfriFireNet" and its partner and host organization, the Forest Fire Association [ FFA] Group trading as Working on Fire, are approved by the International Liaison Committee to host and organize the Fifth International Wildland Fire Conference, "Wildfire 2011".
Working on Fire is the largest wildland fire management agency in South Africa, currently employing 2000 fire fighters, managing 37 aircraft and providing a nationally co-ordinated firefighting resource that implements Integrated Fire Management practice for government and private sector partners. Under Working on Fire International, WoF South Africa has partner companies in Zambia, Europe and Australia. The FFA Group t/a Working on Fire hosts the office of AfriFireNet in South Africa and actively supports the efforts of the network.
In accordance with the mandate and scope of the UNISDR, the Regional sub-Saharan Wildland Fire Network, AfriFireNet, facilitates the enhancement of local, national and regional fire management capabilities by creating synergies of participating scientists, managers and policy makers. Particular emphasis is given to reducing the devastating effects of wildland fires on people, property, resources, health, and the environment. The Regional Network has initiated processes and systems of information management and dissemination and facilitated technology transfer aiming to help prevent and mitigate these effects. The working group will contribute to strengthening institutional fire management capabilities and bringing the world’s knowledge and technical expertise to communities suffering from the devastating impacts of unnatural and unwanted wildland fires.
Wildfire 2011 National Organising Committee
The Chairperson of AfriFireNet also chairs the National Organising Committee ( NOC) and reports back to the International Liaison Committee.
The NOC has representation from the South African National Government [Dept. of Water Affairs and Forestry] Working on Fire and other key local organising stakeholders. Two subcommittees report to the NOC - the Incident Command Team responsible for the logistics and funding of the conference and the Scientific Advisory Committee, convened to assist with compiling the conference’s thematic programme and the review of papers and presentations for the conference.