EMPOWERING LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO MITIGATE WILDFIRES
Replication of Andros example to Achaia and Cephalonia
The pilot wildfire prevention project on Andros island which was implemented with the support of Andriaki Shipping Co. Ltd. , was completed in November 2016.
The initiative “The fire doesn’t play, don’t play with the future of Andros” succeeded in bringing together all the concerned stakeholders in order to collectively take action to mitigate wildfires.
School teachers and students became aware of wildfire prevention issues and enthusiastically assumed the role of ambassador disseminating the awareness raising material to the local community. Livestock breeders and farmers, a crucial target group occasionally using wrong pasture practices, was approached and had the opportunity to raise concerns and exchange views.
Following WWF’s strategic commitments, a new programme was designed in order to replicate and extend Andros pilot in Achaia Prefecture and Cephalonia Island, areas that host rich biodiversity, but also face a large number of wildfire incidents annually.
The core of the new programme which is supported by 12 local authorities and forest firefighting volunteers, is funded by Green Fund and Andriaki Shipping Co. Ltd. and is based on active engagement of local stakeholders for spreading the message and ultimately changing behaviour.
The new angle is the development of a model national environmental education package on fire prevention, targeting primary and secondary students. The aim is to cultivate a new generation of sensitized future citizens who will be aware of the importance of fire prevention and the sound home & outdoor practices.