Coordinator: Dr Rosalie Chapple
The Institute has conducted various forums focusing on the integration of research with bushfire policy and management, and bushfire management in general:
1. Climate Change & Fire in the Greater Blue Mountains and Sydney Basin Region
An interdisciplinary research forum conducted in 2005. Forum objectives:
- identify knowledge gaps and research needs relating to fire and climate change impacts in the region, and
- make recommendations regarding projects for the Institute to implement.
Participants: 30 representatives from the NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, the Sydney Catchment Authority, Blue Mountains City Council, Rural Fire Service, Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority, the Universities of NSW, Sydney & Western Sydney, Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Bushfire CRC, the Botanic Gardens Trust, and the Australian Museum.
2. Bushfire and Conservation Engagement Program 2005
A collaboration between the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, the Bushfire CRC and BMWHI.
The aim of the program was to bring together the full range of people involved in bushfire and conservation in the Blue Mountains to discuss their views, identify areas of agreement and disagreement, develop solutions to outstanding problems as well as to identify priorities for future research. BMWHI and NCC believe that dialogue and open communication between groups and individuals is vitally important for more effective management of these issues. The program included a survey and a workshop.
Participants: 24 people attended the workshop, from fire management agencies, NGOs and the local community.
Note: the report is not available for public release
3. Grose Valley Fire Forum 2007
The State Minister for the Environment invited the BMWHI, as an independent body, to organise a forum to address concerns raised by the community about management of a fire in the Grose Valley in the upper Blue Mountains in November 2006.
The purpose of the forum was to:
- Brief the community on the management of the Grose Valley fire and the framework and context for the management of fire generally within the World Heritage Area.
- Identify any issues that relate specifically to the management of the Grose Valley fire, and that haven’t already been captured and/or responded to within the section 44 debrief report.
- Identify longer term and landscape scale issues relating to the management of fire in the GBMWHA, particularly in this time of climate change.
- Develop an action plan, which responds to any unresolved issues identified above.
Participants: There were 20 people present, 8 of which were local community representatives, attending on behalf of the Conservation Society and advisory groups.
The following organisations were represented at the forum: NSW Dept of Environment and Conservation (DEC); NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS); Blue Mountains Conservation Society (BMCS); Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC); Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC); NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) Regional Advisory Committee and the GBMWHA Advisory Council.
The action plan arising from the forum is now being reviewed in consultation with forum participants.
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