Greece and Albania are countries prone to natural disasters, of which forest fires account for the major share. Forest fires are of a natural and human induced phenomena, which often transcend borders and significantly challenge the ability of a single country to cope with them. Forest fires represent the main risks for both countries, which are affected repeatedly in a year. Albania is lagging behind not only in terms of equipment, but also in terms of structures and organization of human resources to prevent and fight against this phenomenon. The situation with the fire station, firefighters’ equipment and vehicles makes it impossible to cope with such risks. The action aims to boost the Albania’s capacity to deal with forest fires. Often during fire outbusts, the Albanian authorities have asked for help from neighbouring Greece to deploy additional vehicles and troops to support firefighting operations in Albania. The overall objective is increase of cross border infrastructure capacity and improve preparedness in forest fire management through securing of firefighting equipment, planning and rehabilitation of fire station infrastructure in an effort to enable a reduction in forest fires, and enhance the transnational management efficiency. More specifically, the proposed joint training programme, initially developed by PB2 as part of an ongoing training of the Fire Brigade, is expected to support a cross border cooperation for a capacity building scheme between local authorities and national institutions, for addressing common challenges about the effective management of forest fires in accordance with the programme’s objective for an improved effectiveness of risk prevention and disaster management with focus on forest fires. The final beneciary of this action would be the population of eligible areas by protecting the natural environment through:
• the modernization of the national and municipal Services involved in emergency management
• the improvement of the operational capacity of the Services involved.
• the improvement of the training of the staff of the Services involved.
• the adoption of common operational practices by the two countries’ Services