September 16, 2019
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 In Fire Prevention and Response

Country: Tunisia
Delegate Name: Nikhil Talla

Uncontrollable fires can cause many dilemmas, ranging from environmental damage to loss of human life. Fires can pollute the air and water, accelerate climate change, and take the natural habitats of wildlife. For humans, fires can destroy homes and infrastructure, cause negative effects on physical and mental health, and destroy economic stability. The smoke from fires causes pollution and even respiratory illness. It is imperative to prevent fires and respond to them in order to avoid tragedies.

In Tunisia, temperature levels are rising. Due to the dry and hot conditions, there is an incredibly high risk of fires. Hot winds from the south intensify the situation, making fires easier to spread. Most of Tunisia is desert, lowering the risk of fires, but most of northern Tunisia is a forest. Due to this, Tunisia has mostly forest wildfires. In 2020, nearly 440 square kilometers (170 square miles) of forest were destroyed by fire. According to UNOCHA, a fire broke out in the pine forests of Tunisia on 24 July 2021. This fire lasted three days and destroyed over 1000 hectares of forest. The Tunisian National Institute of Meteorology (NIM) believes that high temperatures are to blame for the cause of this event. To respond to wildfires, the Tunisian army, civil management, and forest management group cooperate. This year alone, 17,599 hectares of forest burned, compared to last the 12 years’ average of 6,257. Most of these fires are believed to have been caused by climate change. To help with the damages of the fires, a subsidiary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Tunisian Red Cross (TRC) is providing housing units and psychological support to families who have lost their homes. To solve this issue, Tunisia joined the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty focused on combating dangerous human interference with the climate system. Tunisia wants to solve this issue to protect lives, property, and the environment.

Uncontrolled fires can be prevented by controlling climate change. Tunisia promotes the United Nations’ work to help stop climate change. Reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere helps reduce the occurrence of wildfires. Tunisia is open to any solution that addresses the issue of climate change, uncontrolled fires, and the response to them.

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