May 15-19, 2023 — The AFoCO Regional Education and Training Center (RETC), the Royal Forest Department of Thailand, and the French Embassy in Bangkok join hands to collaborate, develop and implement a joint capacity-building activity entitled “Training of Trainers for Forest Fire Suppression” at the Sakaerat Environmental Research Station and Wang Nam Khiao Forestry Research and Student Training Station in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. The training course welcomed 24 participants from 14 AFoCO member countries, including Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam.
Recognizing that enhancing the field-level forest firefighting capacities should be a prerequisite for the sound operation of the nationwide forest fire monitoring system, the training aims to improve forest fire suppression knowledge and skills through the acquisition of relevant theories and practical/hands-on exercises, and develop tactics in conducting domestic training on forest fire suppression in participants’ home countries.
With support from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the trainees are able to learn and gain insight from three experts — Ms. Antonella Massaiu, Mr. Bruno Chitussi, and Mr. Rémi Lassoureille — who have 15 to 20 years of experience in dealing with forest fires. As the main AFoCO RETC trainer for forest fire management, Dr. Veerachai Tanpipat, Senior Expert and Senior Expert and Advisor at Upper ASEAN Wildland Fire Special Research Unit, Forestry Research Center, will also be sharing insight and knowledge on the Asian context of forest fire issues.
After the training in Thailand, a 3-day policy-driven high-level workshop will be organized in October in the Republic of Korea. The training and the workshop will be organically linked to each other. The interventions from the training course are expected to be part of the baselining information for the countries’ governance enhancement in forest fire management in the future.
- Mr. Jean-Michel Dumaz is Project coordinator, Head of the Regional Attaché for Civil Protection and Crisis Management for Asian Countries based at the French Embassy in Singapore
- Dr. Veerachai Tanpipat is Senior Expert and Senior Expert and Advisor at Upper ASEAN Wildland Fire Special Research Unit, Forestry Research Center, and Faculty of Forestry
- Mr. Surachit Wangsothorn is Director of Sakaerat Environmental Research Station, Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation
- Ms. Antonella Massaiu is a Fire Analyst Expert National Forest Service, South Corsica Island Province, France
- Mr. Rémi Lassoureille is Fire Fighter Officer Gironde Fire Service, Grand Bordeaux Area, France
- Mr. Preecha Ongprasert is Director of Forestry Foreign Affairs Office, Royal Forest Department, Thailand (He is also the National Focal Point of AFoCO)
Contributed by Niyaz Zholbarys, 2023 Fellowship Official from Kazakhstan