To manage the growing threat of wildfires, IIASA researchers incorporate equity and justice dimensions into risk management advice as part of the EU-funded project FIRELOGUE, developed under the Horizon Europe programme for the European Green Deal. IIASA has contributed its knowledge of different disciplines, sectors, and stakeholder groups to help develop a new set of strategies.

FIRELOGUE logo © FIRELOGUE project

Wildfires are a growing problem across the world, as unprecedented wildfires have raged with an intensity and across geographical regions never seen before while climate change further increases their frequency and severity.  

The EU-funded FIRELOGUE project aims to support and coordinate the consolidation of knowledge from the wildfire risk related Green Deal Innovation Actions and the wider community. It integrates the findings across stakeholder groups and fire management, and promotes discussion via forums and workshops, leading to exchange among a large range of stakeholders. To this end, FIRELOGUE creates a network and platform for the discussion on the future of European wildfire risk management (WFRM), engaging the entirety of the wildfire community. As part of this, the project partners support the WFRM related Innovation Actions (IAs) funded under the Horizon 2020 Green Deal call and coordinates the integration of stakeholders and findings into cross-sectoral WFRM recommendations as a roadmap for 2030 and beyond.  

In line with increasing demands for more public participation, transparency and fairness in risk management institutions and procedures, FIRELOGUE aims to coordinate and support the Innovation Actions (IAs) by integrating their findings across stakeholder groups and fire management phases. It  builds on different formats to process the existing WFRM knowledge and innovations as developed by the IAs to establish comprehensive knowledge sharing formats. The FIRELOGUE platform together with Communication Booster services, such as brokering expertise, will disseminate the insights and technologies developed by the IAs and integrated by the FIRELOGUE project.  

In addition to developing dedicated knowledge sharing formats for the exchange between the IAs, FIRELOGUE also aims to (1) deconstruct conflicting (and synergising) aims, interests, mandates, policies, and practices existing in WFRM, (2) identify real or perceived injustices linked to these conflicts, (3) provide a space for deliberating on these conflicts and synergies in a just and inclusive way, to (4) co-develop integrated strategies to overcome these conflicts.  

FIRELOGUE builds on an Integrated Systems Thinking approach to bind the IAs together while comprehensively addressing the different components of wildfire risk (hazard, exposure, vulnerability, and capabilities) as well as the diverse natural and socioeconomic drivers of risk. Building on the concept of Just Transition, different notions of justice (distributive, procedural and restorative justice) will form the basis for structuring the discussions within and across the working groups. Collaborative governance will build the conceptual underpinning for designing the dialogue workshops and to eventually co-develop integrated WFRM strategies. 

IIASA plays an extensive role in this research project, leading work package (WP) 1 on knowledge consolidation and integration. By connecting both dimensions of FIRELOGUE – coordination and support- this WP collects knowledge and information from the IAs and the wider community to consolidate these insights into the FIRELOGUE platform. Moreover, this WP analyses and assesses (in-)consistencies in the WFRM approaches identified by IAs and translates these insights into valuable starting points for dialogue workshops conducted within and across working groups in WP4. IIASA will play a key role in developing a Firelogue Just Transition framework, which will constitute the conceptional and theoretical link between the individual working groups. With longstanding expertise in the field of pre-disaster risk management and risk transfer, IIASA leads the working group on insurance. This working group aims to discuss the potential design and implementation of different insurance mechanisms and assess their effectiveness in reducing financial impacts of wildfire risks in an equitable way. Also, IIASA contributes to the assessment of socio-economic aspects in WFRM, trying to integrate and quantify also non-economic side-effects, going beyond classical cost-benefit analysis.  By leading the task related to the analysis of dialogue forums in WP5, IIASA conducts a comprehensive discourse analysis of cross sector working group workshops, identifying patterns and clusters in WFRM. 

This project has received funding from the European Commission under grant agreement  ID 101036534.

Relevant Publications

Handmer, J., Honda, Y., Kundzewicz, Z.W., & Mechler, R. (2012). Changes in impacts of climate extremes: Human systems and ecosystems. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Eds. Field, CB, Barros, V, & Stocker, TF, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Keating, A. & Handmer, J. (2020). Post-Event Reviews for building Wildfire Resilience: The case of Tasmania, Australia. DOI:10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13758. In: European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2020, 4-8 May 2020, Vienna, Austria.

Strahan, K., Keating, A., & Handmer, J. (2020). Models and frameworks for assessing the value of disaster research. Progress in Disaster Science 6 e100094. 10.1016/j.pdisas.2020.100094.

FIRELOGUE consortium © FIRELOGUE project

Official FIRELOGUE project partners:

Fraunhofer Gesellschaft für Angewandte Forschung e.V. (FhG) Germany RTO (Lead) 

Pau Costa Foundation (PCF) Spain NGO 

National Observatory of Athens (NOA) Greece  

SAFE Cluster France  

Trilateral Research (TRI) United Kingdom  

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development Switzerland IO (UNRISD) 

EDGE in Earth Observation sciences Monoprosopi IKE Greece SME (EDGE) 

International Institute of Applied System Analysis (IIASA) Austria  

Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores (INESCTEC), Portugal  

The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) Belgium 

Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) Portugal 

Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) Italy 

Consorci Centre de Ciència i Tecnologia Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC) Spain 

Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics (ADAI) Portugal  

Centre for Security Studies (KEMEA) Greece 

Universidad de Alcalá (UAH) Spain