Catching fire: Evolving wildfire response for catastrophic events
Organizer: World Bank
This moderated panel discussion will bring together global wildfire and disaster management leaders to explore technological innovations, share practical insights and explore meaningful solutions to the growing challenge of catastrophic wildfires. As the climate changes, the world has marked a significant increase in the number of extreme wildland fire disasters. Around the world, in countries such as the United States, Australia, Portugal, Georgia, Nepal, Brazil and Bolivia, this phenomenon is driving an increase in civilian and firefighter deaths and creating unforeseen economic burdens. In an increasing number of cases, wildfire severity and consequence are increasing in countries and regions that are unprepared and may be unable to adopt the management practices of wealthier nations. Unlike many natural hazards, wildland fire can often be effectively mitigated during the event itself. However, the required response resources such as specialized aircraft, professionally trained teams, and emerging technologies are expensive and may not be reasonable for countries with a developing economy. As a result, from community protection strategies, to early warning systems and from regional/hemispherical resource sharing to public education, the world is falling behind in the race to reduce wildfire risk. We must innovate to catch fire.
Adam McAllister, CEO – McAllister & Craig Disaster Management
Joaquin Toro, Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank
Benjamin Fischer, Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Kim Conners, Executive Director, Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre
Euan Ferguson, Principal Consultant, Euan Ferguson Pty Ltd.
Ana Maria Canut, Operational Coordinator, Brazil’s National Center for Prevention and Fighting Wildfire (Prevfogo)
Mary Brown, GIS Specialist, Swiss Humanitarian Aid, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation