''Protovoulia Pnois'', the revitalising initiative for the protection of our forests, currently implemented by NPF Desmos, WWF Greece and HIGGS (Higher Incubator Giving Growth & Sustainability) with the support of the Athina I. Martinou Foundation, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the National Bank of Greece, aims at training, strengthening and supporting forest firefighter teams. In the framework of the Support Programme for Voluntary Forest Fire Protection Teams (2022-2024), a first round of training workshops has been completed, with the participation of 53 volunteer groups from various regions across Greece. Moreover, following careful assessment, 21 volunteer teams were selected as the first teams to receive support in terms of equipment.
In the context of this initiative, WWF Greece followed a well-tested methodology, using questionnaires, personal interviews and 24 field visits, in order to understand the scope of the volunteer groups’ activity and the difficulties they may face in areas that are hard to reach, as well as to assess their needs in terms of equipment. On the basis of specific evaluation criteria, 21 out of a total of 50 groups were prioritised for the purposes of receiving high-quality equipment.
In particular, the following teams were selected to receive immediate support:
The second phase of the project, which has already commenced, will see a further 29 volunteer groups receiving support in the form of equipment allowing them to keep doing their invaluable work.
Voluntary forest fire protection groups are constantly on the front line of forest fires, making a key contribution to the work of the competent State authorities. It is therefore imperative that volunteers be provided with essential supplies, equipment and training so as to continue to be a crucial link in the national forest fire protection system.