High Technology for protection of Biodiversity through early fire detection in high significance protected forest areas

Acronym

FIRE DETECTION
Priority axis Sustainability-Climate adaptability
Call Restricted Call for Strategic Project Proposal under Priority Axis 3
Lead Beneficiary Municipality of Soufli
Partners Municipality of Soufli
Municipality of Haskovo
Budget 849.994.79
Soufli and Haskovo Municipalities have, in their territory, large protected areas, characterized as Natura 2000 areas, which are valuable resources to them and ecosystems of high significance for all Europe. These biotopes support unique or rare Fauna and Flora and many protected and endangered species. The most serious threat for these forest habitats is the fire. Forest fires are expected to be more frequent and destructive, as the climate change increases the possibility of drought in the wide area. Illegal human activities are also important threats
The proposed pilot project leans in three pillars for the protection of Biodiversity:
1. Prevention through public awareness, risk analysis and protected areas monitoring
2. On time detection of the danger through monitoring system consisting of high technology fire detecting cameras that will be installed (One in Soufli and one in Haskovo)
3. Effective crisis management through real time integrated image of the fire given by the high technology cameras
A total of approximately 70000ha in Greece and 70000ha in Bulgaria will be protected from fire and illegal human activities and thus better managed. Among them approximately 40000ha in Greece and 10000ha in Bulgaria are Natura 2000 areas. Up to now the monitoring of these forests, concerning fire detection is performed by human watches, mainly during summer. With the pilot project a powerful tool (detecting cameras) will be used for forest monitoring all over the year, detecting not only fire but illegal human activities as well. The protected areas will be assessed and the sectors with bigger fire risk will get more frequently in the focus of the Fire Detection System.
The protected areas habitats have high CB connectivity. A fire can easily extend to the other side of the border. For these reasons common CB approaches are required.
The public will be informed about the operation of the monitoring system and about the environment and biodiversity protection.
About 100000 people in Greece and Bulgaria is expected to be informed about the need and the ways to protect the environment and the biodiversity. This will be achieved through 2 workshops, the informative school campaign, press conferences, website, signboards and printed material.
To evaluate the transferability of the project a study will be elaborated that will assess the project results and the possibility of extending the project to the rest CB area.
The project will enhance the cooperation of the two countries in biodiversity protection, especially in emergency cases that a fire extends to the other side of the borders. Entrepreneurs that directly or indirectly derive income from the protected areas will be mostly benefited (tourism activities and legal logging activities).
The activities that are going to be jointly implemented are the drafting of the Risk Assessment, the System Capabilities Analysis, the Assessment of the Results Transferability and the website management.
 

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