On 19 January 2022, AFoCO Secretariat and the Forest Aviation Headquarters signed an MoU to foster cooperation on forest-related disaster response and preparedness at the AFoCO Secretariat, Seoul, Korea.
The Forest Aviation Headquarters strives to protect forests from disasters such as forest fires and forest diseases and pest control in order to protect the precious lives of the nation. Most of the work is carried out in the air, and due to weather conditions and related obstacles, all employees, including pilots, technicians, aerial firefighters, and the support department are united to prevent accidents and ensure safety at all times throughout the entire year.
The MoU, consistent with AFoCO’s strategic plan (2019-2023), intends to promote mutual development in advancing respective expertise, information exchange, and supporting capacity development based on mutual cooperation of the parties. Specifically, through the signing of the MoU, the two organizations look forward to cooperating in the following key areas:
(1) Exchange of information and technology related to the roles and mandates of respective parties
(2) Establishment and strengthening of networks for mutual benefit
(3) Supporting capacity building programs of mutual needs, including forest fire control and the utilization of forest drones
(4) Other areas as may be mutually identified.
During the signing ceremony, Mr. Ricardo Calderon, Executive Director of AFoCO, expressed sincere appreciation to the Forest Aviation Headquarters while also expressing hope that the invaluable experiences of Forest Aviation Headquarters will play a significant role in the forest disaster management of the AFoCO Member Countries. Mr. Kiyeon Ko, Head of Headquarters also noted the positive and bright prospects for the cooperation of the two organizations in various activities related to forest disaster responses and preparedness.
The MoU Signing Ceremony was proceeded by a Donation Ceremony from the Forest Aviation Headquarters, which has generously offered to donate 19 second-hand radio sets to the AFoCO Secretariat. The Secretariat showed sincere gratitude for the generous donation. Considering that communication is the most important resource at the site of a disaster, it is expected that the donated equipment will help protect the forest by preventing the spread of forest fire damage through prompt first action in member countries. The event ended with once again hopes that the donation and the cooperation of the two organizations would bring a greener and safer Asia.
For the official press release from the Republic of Korea, please click the link below (in Korean)
산림항공본부, 개도국 산림재난 대응 위한 국제 협력 추진 – 보도자료 | 브리핑룸 | 뉴스 | 대한민국 정책브리핑 (korea.kr)
Submitted by CHA Jiyea, Team Assistant