September 16, 2019
 In 2021-Fire Prevention and Response

Country: France
Delegate Name: Alejandro Alvarez

Country: France
Delegate Name: Alejandro Alvarez
Committee: UNDP
Topic: Fire Prevention and Response
School: Kalamazoo Central Highschool

Wildfires are known to be very destructive forces of nature that disrupt transportation, affect communication, and damage power sources. More than 50,000 wildfires occurred across the world in 2020 alone. The one difference between wildfires and other natural disasters is that they are almost always a result of human activity. Climate Change is also a leading cause of these wildfires as well but we must not forget that humans are the biggest contributors to the rapid progression of climate change. In recent years, France has been continuously met with wildfires because of the waves of extreme heat in Europe due to global warming. Although these fires have been more tame compared to the wildfires in locations such as the West Coast of the United States, they still lead to a large amount of property damage and permanent damage to wildlife that the citizens of France can’t afford to keep losing. France believes that the UNDP should take the steps necessary to properly prevent wildfires and come up with an effective way to control them.

Wildfires are most frequent in the Mediterranean region of France, accounting for 67% of all the land burned in the country between 2001 and 2016. In order to reduce the amount of wildfires in this region and other regions of France, a new fire policy was established in 1994. This policy improved the methods used to prevent fires, increased the surveillance of forests, and reduced all ignitions to prevent the enlargement of fires. This policy was successful, reducing the amount of land burned per year in France. However, this could not prevent the damage caused by the larger kind of wildfires so more work needs to be done in regards to wildfire prevention. France has also committed itself to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 to reduce global warming, one of the leading causes of wildfires. In terms of actually fighting the fires, France has several civilian fire services organized by the French Ministry of the Interior adding up to 250,000 firefighters.

In order to allow for proper fire safety and prevention, France proposes creating a force of firefighters similar to the UN peacekeepers to help out countries and regions overwhelmed by fires. This force would operate like a foreign nation sending firefighters to help put out a fire in another country, similar to the way that Mexico sent firefighters to the United States to help put out Californian wildfires in 2020. France would like to work with other nations in the EU and the Mediterranean Region as they share similar issues in relation to the frequency of wildfires with the southern region of France in order to achieve this proposal.

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