Most countries of Mediterranean Europe are strongly affected by forest fires, with major socio-economic and environmental impacts that can spread over several regions and countries. A transnational approach allows creating synergies regarding resource sharing and problem-solving strategies. The access to high quality and up-to-date information is critical to improve fire hazard mitigation measures and promote comparable appraisals between different regions. Several collaborative initiatives have been implemented in Europe to foster research and service development, focusing on common issues amongst countries. The PREFER project was one of these initiatives, with the purpose of contributing to protect human communities and forests from fire hazard, by providing cartographic products through the implementation of a new systematic framework. The participation of end users, such as civil protection organizations and forest services, covering the Euro-Mediterranean region, was crucial to ensure the operational application of the mapping products. Fuel classification, daily fire hazard indices, vulnerability assessment and damage severity levels were some of the mapping applications developed for several test areas in Mediterranean Europe. This chapter illustrates the potential enhancements for forest fire management offered by this framework, bearing in mind the benefits of applying shared and harmonized approaches for common issues.
Part of the book: Mediterranean Identities