International Day of Forests 2021: How is SAFERS working on forest restoration and adaptation?

International Day of Forests 2021: How is SAFERS working on forest restoration and adaptation?

The International Day of Forests is a global celebration which is held annually on 21st March to raise awareness on the importance of all types of forests for current and future generations. The theme for the International Day of Forests 2021 is “Forest Restoration: a path to recovery and well-being.”

The European Union funded project under the Horizon 2020 programme SAFERS ‘Structured Approaches for Forest fire Emergencies in Resilient Societies’ aims to protect our forests from fires and act across the key phases of the forests fires emergency management cycle: prevention and preparedness, detection and response, restoration and adaptation. In the restoration and adaptation phase, SAFERS is going to assess the impacts of forest fires, monitor the regeneration of damaged ecosystems and compute the economic losses resulting from burned areas. It will also suggest strategies to reduce the impacts of future emergency events.

SAFERS is currently developing a platform which will be open and integrating several services to act as a forest fire Decision Support System. The platform will use information from different sources: earth observations from Copernicus and GEOSS, fire sensors in forests, topographic data, weather forecasts and even crowdsourced data from social media and other apps that can be used by citizens and first responders to provide situational in-field information.

Such Big Data will be processed using Artificial Intelligence algorithms to generate useful information: risk maps to better plan preparedness actions, early detection of active fires, fire propagation predictions, burned area and fire front delineation, impact assessment estimations, and habitat recovery maps. Moreover, the SAFERS Decision Support System will suggest best practices according to the emergency phase and to the current situation using a semantic knowledge base.

To test SAFERS solutions, there will be four demonstrations in Greece (Thessaloniki), France (Corsica), Italy (Susa Valley) and Spain (Catalonia) where all the actors of the emergency management will be involved.