Presentation letter

One more year, we are excited to share with all of you the list of activities that the entire team and community of the Pau Costa Foundation carried out during 2022. This time, it is a special excitement since we are launching the first online Report of the Foundation. Over the years we have gone from printed format to PDF and now, a web format that will make it easier for us to update and allows us to incorporate audiovisuals and better access the information.

At an institutional level, the year 2022 has served to start outlining the Foundation’s 2023-2025 Strategic Plan. We established a dialogue with our community (members’ meeting in May in La Bisbal del Penedès, Barcelona) to share and learn their vision about the priority objectives of the Foundation for the coming years. Likewise, all members of the executive team worked to spot opportunities, and identify the strategic objectives and impacts that as an organisation we want to achieve in the short and medium term. All of this must lead to the drafting and implementation of the Strategic Plan in 2023.

As far as European projects are concerned, three new projects were started in 2022. EduFire, with the aim of providing knowledge and raising awareness about challenges related to climate change and wildfire risk reduction among secondary school teachers and students; ResAlliance, which aims to facilitate the flow of information and knowledge, while increasing the awareness, understanding and capacity of farmers and foresters on landscape resilience in Mediterranean countries; and SEMEDFIRE, to improve the capabilities and acquisition of knowledge on wildfires of the European University Cyprus (Cyprus) so that it becomes a reference in wildfire research in the Southeastern Mediterranean. These three new projects, together with the other eight active projects in 2022, reinforce the continuity of our capacity to participate in international projects and generate networks of experts with whom to share and generate knowledge for the operational sector in particular, and the wildfire community in general.

In the field of training, we continue to strengthen our presence in Latin America. In 2022 we carried out the first phase of the EGIF Programme in collaboration with CONAF (Chile). This programme has provided technical assistance actions to CONAF, and has set up a training framework that has laid the foundations for a professional development structure within the same organisation. During the first quarter of 2023, the second phase will be developed. We have also been in Bolivia carrying out training in prescribed burning and we have been in contact with colleagues from Argentina and Ecuador to strengthen our collaboration. Finally, it is worth noting that, once again, we have coordinated and participated as instructors in TREX Andalucía 2022.

Regarding awareness-raising projects and activities, in 2022 we focused on carrying out the MeFiTu environmental education workshop in various schools. We were also committed to creating informative material on different topics related to wildfires to disseminate through social networks and thus building a base of outreach materials to position ourselves as references in dissemination of wildfires to society. The year 2024 will be the time to launch a page on the Foundation’s website to comprehensively publicise all our educational and dissemination activity on wildfires to society.

We do not want to ignore the expansion and solidity of a reference project such as “Ramats de Foc”. The project has been incorporating new shepherds, continues to be promoted in the media, and has received financial support from entities such as Caixa d’Enginyers and BBVA. Furthermore, it is a project that helps us a lot to convey our discourse, that is, to raise awareness about the importance of extensive livestock farming as a forest management tool, and about the need for a dynamic and productive rural environment to avoid large wildfires.

In 2022, we have also been active in organising seminars and conferences. It is worth highlighting the organisation, together with the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE), of the conference “Fire Ecology across Boundaries: Connecting Science and Management” (Florence and online, October 4-7) and like every year, we organised the “Technical Conferences on Wildfires” (Toledo, December 14 and 15).

At this point, we want, as always, to thank the members of the Foundation and the entire wildfire community. Without your collaboration and support, none of the projects mentioned in this report would have been designed or deployed. Your support is essential to face great challenges, among them, the one we are currently deploying with the “Declaration on the management of large wildfires in Spain” and to help us generate impact so that members and organisations can improve and be a reference in safety, research and efficiency. The voice and experience of our members are key to guiding the Pau Costa Foundation actions. We are counting on you!

Let’s keep up the good work!

PCF Team