You will probably recall many flyers placed around the island last year giving pictorial representation of things most often associated with accidental starting of fires, these were sponsored by this program and have been recognised as successful and will form the basis of this years campaign being further disseminated across Greece.
WWF Greece’s annual campaign to prevent forest fires in Achaia and Kefalonia has been successfully completed. Focusing on the upcoming fire-fighting period, which begins in a few months (May 1, 2019), WWF calls on all local actors across Greece to follow the example of these two regions and to prepare them appropriately, putting the awareness and mobilization of citizens at the center of their actions.
The aim of the campaign, “The fire in question” ( WWW Hellas ) started in January 2018 was twofold: On the one hand, the awareness of the public about the prevention of forest fires, given that, according to official figures, 90% of forest fires are caused by man and on the other hand the creation of an open platform for cooperation between citizens, public bodies, environmental organizations and volunteer groups for free information and exchange of views and know-how.
The areas of action and implementation of the program were selected by Achaia and Kefalonia, which in recent years have been seriously affected by the fires. However, the campaign was designed from the outset in such a way that it can be easily implemented in other areas of Greece that have a high risk of forest fires, through the free use of the information and educational material produced, as well as with the active support of WWF Hellas who helped in similar actions across Greece.
Within the campaign, a package of communication materials was designed to raise awareness of the causes of forest fires and the individual preventive measures of the local community, as well as the catalytic role played by each of us in the timely notification of the authorities in case of fire. This package includes TV and radio spots reproduced by the local media, integrated printed material distributed to voluntary groups and groups of citizens, as well as billboards fire hazards placed at selected points of National Parks and Hazardous Areas in Achaia and Kefalonia.
At the same time, special educational material was created for students from the schools of Achaia and Kefalonia, about the causes and the treatment of forest fires, and five teacher training workshops were organized. Also, during this last year, interactive workshops were organized with the participation of executives responsible public bodies, but also voluntary forest protection teams, where for the first time the causes of forest fires in the program areas and basic parameters of prevention were analyzed, while proposals were made for the drafting of local prevention and fire protection plans.
In his statements, Elias Tziritis , coordinator of local actions of WWF Hellas said: ” The WWFGreece wants and can, in cooperation with public bodies and voluntary organizations, carry out exemplary actions across the country to raise awareness and awareness of our fellow citizens about forest fires. We are already launching environmental education actions in Eastern and Western Attica, Euboea and Chios, and before the start of this year’s fire-fighting period we will have implemented a three-day training program for volunteer firefighters in Attica. It is up to all of us to bring prevention to the forefront . We call on authorities, bodies and schools to take advantage of the available material that has been created and to help raise awareness of the public with a view to reducing forest fires . “
All information and educational material created within this campaign is available to anyone interested through https://www.wwf.gr/areas/forests/i-fotia-se-afora .
The campaign “The fire in question” was implemented with the co-financing of the Green Fund and the shipping company Andriaki Shipping, which had supported the implementation of similar actions to prevent forest fires in Andros . WWF Hellas’s collaborators in this effort were Theatrical Education The Paleo Group, the Volunteer Rescue Fire Rescue Team and the Pilaros Environmental Protection Voluntary Group.
Alliance for the fires in Kefalonia : Decentralized Administration of the Peloponnese, Western Greece and the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia District Directorate, Argostoli Fire Service, Municipality of Kefalonia – Civil Protection Directorate, Ainou National Forest Management Authority, Pilaros Environmental Protection Voluntary Group, Voluntary Forest Protection Group of Kefalonia, Hellenic Forestry – Proponation, Volos Environmental Protection Group of Erisou, Voluntary Forest Protection Group 21st, Theatropodedagogical Group of PATHEA.