Forest Monitoring System for Early Fire Detection and Assessment in the Balkan-Med Area

Acronym

SFEDA
Priority axis Environment
Specific Objective Sustainable Territories
Call 1st Call for Project Proposals
Lead Partner University of Patras, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics
Partners Cyprus University of Technology
Decentralised Administration of Peloponnese, Western Greece & Ionian
Directorate of Nature Park Rusenski Lom
Hellenic Agricultural Organisation DEMETER, Forest Research Institute
Pano Platres Community Council
University of Ruse "Angel Kanchev"
Observer Partners Hellenic Fire Corps
Management Body of Kotyhi – Strofylia Wetlands
Budget 1.412.091,56


The BalkanMed area was subject to more than 800 wildfire events during 2014 alone. These fires have spread over 20 Kha of which 25% have been Natura 2000. Wildfires are deadly events, destroying infrastructures, world heritage sites, wildlife habitats and timber, and also releasing CO2 in the atmosphere. The effects from the large and reoccurring fires in combination with wrong post-fire management practices are devastating for both natural environment and human communities. Early wildfire detection contributes greatly in the forest protection and reduces considerably the extend of burned forest land.
The overall objective of the SFEDA project is to promote transnational cooperation among 3 of the countries in the Balkan-Med area. The project has a strong emphasis on the proof of the effectiveness of the technology and the implementation of a system for early detection of wildfires towards protecting the environment contributing to the climate change resiliency.

Preservation of forests contributes to the significant reduction of GHG removal towards improvement of the resilience of ecosystems to climate change while minimizes the impact of extreme weather phenomena such as flooding.

The main output of SFEDA will be the THEASIS system. THEASIS will be a synergistic integration of mature technologies based on UAS, stationary thermal/optical cameras assisted by a fire risk assessment model.

THEASIS will be instrumental in minimising the time from onset to detection of a fire event, as well as false alarms, thus resulting in significant improvements in the average response time of a fire-fighting intervention.THEASIS will be a scalable, modular system with various versions for autonomous monitoring and early fire detection, which will be implemented and demonstrated in 3 forest terrains from the southern to the northern region of BalkanMed countries. A considerable number of joint training activities will be carried out, and an exploitation plan will be developed for future deployment of the THEASIS in areas with high risk of wildfire. The SFEDA contributes towards the homogenization of the forest protection policies of the BalkanMed countries. The regional authorities will benefit from the knowledge exchange and the experiences gained. The work effort is carefully allocated among academic and regional authority partners. The non-academic partners will contribute their operational experiences and indentify the issues that need to be tackled, whilst they will provide advice regarding the test areas. The academic partners have complementary fields of expertise which guarantees the achievement of the proposed tasks. THEASIS can be adapted to every forest, in order to prevent the loss of flora and fauna and reduce the risk to humans. The beneficiaries will enhance their abilities by exploiting this reliable and easy to operate system based on mature technologies, and they will have the opportunity to form a cooperation cluster in a transnational level.
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