AFoCO Launches 2nd Training of Trainers on Forest Fire Suppression in Thailand

The Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO), in partnership with the French Embassy and the Royal Forest Department of Thailand, has launched the ‘2nd Training of Trainers on Forest Fire Suppression in Thailand’ from March 18 to 28, 2024, in Thailand. This pivotal training program targets the increasing forest fires in Asia, magnified by climate change factors such as increased temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns.

Aimed at enhancing regional and national forest fire management capabilities, the training brought together participants from AFoCO 11 member countries, including specialists from France, Australia, Thailand, and Republic of Korea. The opening ceremony, led by the Royal Forest Department, underscored the collaborative effort required to effectively suppress forest fires, emphasizing the integration of knowledge and operational skills.

‘2nd Training of Trainers on Forest Fire Suppression’ Opening Ceremony held at the Royal Forest Department of Thailand

The Executive Director of AFoCO Secretariat delivered welcome remark to participants.

This joint training program initiative, supported by AFoCO Secretariat, the French Embassy, and Royal Forest Department of Thailand, extends beyond our immediate training session. It taps into Thailand’s forestry expertise and aligns with our Regional Capacity Building Program for Climate Action. At the AFoCO 9th Assembly on October 2023, this strategy aims to enhance regional collaboration and inform forest management policy. Today’s training is a vital step towards our shared goal for sustainability and resilience against climate change and forest fires. The Executive Director of AFoCO was emphasized to open this program, calling on all participants to join forces as we embark on this transformative endeavor.

The Deputy Director General of Royal Forest Department of Thailand delivered opening remark.

The Deputy Director General, Mr. Supot Pooratanaopa thanked the AFoCO Secretariat, French Embassy, and Royal Forest Department for their commitment to enhancing forest fire management through effective communication. He also expressed appreciation to the participants from AFoCO member countries and the trainers from France, Australia, Thailand, and Republic of Korea who will disseminate their newfound knowledge back home. On behalf of the Royal Forest Department, he officially opened the training and wished all a fruitful learning experience and safe travels to Kanchanaburi Province for the upcoming field exercises.

Mr. Supot Pooratanaopa, Deputy Director General of Royal Forest Department, Thailand

The opening ceremony featured a welcome address by the Mr. Remi Lambert, first counselor from the French Embassy in Bangkok.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs proudly open the Training of Trainers on Forest Fire Suppression, affirming its commitment to forest conservation and against to climate change. Since the One Planet Summit, France has been at the forefront of protecting tropical forests, with a focus on South East Asia. This training, a collaboration with AFoCO Secretariat and Royal Forest Departemnt features hands-on exercises in Kanchanaburi Province, underscoring the power of international partnership in improving firefighting skills. We’re grateful for the expertise from French, Australia, . The ministry extends a warm welcome to all attendees, confident that this program will make a meaningful impact on global forest preservation.

Mr. Remi Lambert, First counselor from the French Embassy in Bangkok

Highlighting the importance of practical experience, the training includes exercises in Kanchanaburi Province, fostering an exchange of international expertise and the enhancement of firefighting skills. The program is seen as a milestone for professional development and a significant move towards a more sustainable, resilient global ecosystem.

Introduction to Trainers
(Ms. Antonella MASSAIU from France)
Introduction to Trainees
(Mr. Mayuskling de Jesus from Timor-Leste)

Participants also engaged in a declaration session, representing their commitment as national government delegates to implement the training’s outcomes effectively.

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Announcement of Training declaration (Mr. Karma Dorji from Bhutan)

This intensive training will conclude with trainees equipped to lead skilled firefighting teams and execute strategic action plans in their respective countries, bolstering local firefighting capacities and contributing to a collective effort against forest fires.

Contributed by Dr. Kiwon Kim, Assistant Program Officer, Capacity-Building & Evaluation Team

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