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The Pau Costa Foundation as a platform for international training and scientific exchange

Thu, 5th May '11

"There is a need to establish a common platform in Europe, capitalizing on knowledge and experience attained by specialists in fire ecology and management and sharing it with others across borders and continents”, says Marc Castellnou from the GRAF units of the Catalonian Fire Service in Barcelona, Spain. During the past decade extensive experiences and knowledge have been accumulated for managing wildfires in Europe. So far experiences were shared amongst the leading fire management groups and research institutes in Europe through cross border training courses and exchanges. In order to enhance the communication of experiences and scientific knowledge gained, international experts were consulted recommending the establishment of a foundation. Such a foundation was seen as both suitable for serving as an information platform on fire management as well as allowing for addressing future fire management and fire ecology research.

Therefore the Pau Costa Foundation was called into life as an organization that seeks to stimulate fire ecology research, create knowledge, tools and techniques for operational wildfire management and convey those through training and other capacity building measures. The Pau Costa Foundation aims to be the leading organization in advocating a profound change in the perception of landscape fire ecology and facilitating fire management at the landscape level through bridging the gap between research and practitioners. It aims to change the concept of fire prevention towards a concept of fire resistant landscapes. It serves as an acknowledged coordination platform and contact point for knowledge exchange and transfer in the field of fire ecology research and operational fire management.

Pau Costa was a high level fire analyst at the GRAF units from Catalonia, Spain, who tragically died in the Horta de St Joan Fire on 24th of July 2009. He strongly advocated for such a platform based on his extensive experiences in fighting and managing fires. His idealistic spirit inspired fire managers and fire ecologists in Europe and overseas alike, to join forces to initiate such a foundation.  It is due to Pau's dedication that his vision became reality in 2011. All involved in the activities of the Pau Costa Foundation will commemorate this dedication and strive towards achieving our vision.
The Pau Costa Foundation will have a work meeting with its partners during the Wildfire 2011 conference in Sun City on 9 May 2011 (Monday) between 14.00-16.00 hrs about its training and exchange programme and its Africa programme.