The Fire Centre hosted Dr. Núria Prat-Guitart, a peatland fire ecologist and community-engagement specialist from the Pau Costa Foundation in Barcelona. Núria talked about her experiences with community engagement as part of the Pau Costa Foundation.
Community engagement approaches
The 2017 and 2018 fire seasons around the world have shown there is a global new normal of fire behaviours that cannot be predicted under the current science. The response systems working under very uncertain conditions have collapsed facing wildfire behaviours that are not used to fight. The consequences of those system collapses, as we all know, are tragic. The bad news is that these extreme wildfires are here to stay and we need to joint efforts to act immediately.
Research and technology are sometimes perceived to be slower than the management and societal needs. As a consequence, decisions on the ground often rely more on experience rather than science. But no one doubts that experience is limited when it comes to the new normal. In some sense, the research communities and the fire communities around the world are closer than ever, yet there is not always a single and clear voice to reach out politicians and society.
The presentation discussed some key ideas about how this challenge is addressed in Europe and in particular Pau Costa Foundation’s approaches to engage these communities.
More information here