Global Fire Monitoring Center, Freiburg University


Following the recommendations of the UN-ECE/FAO/ILO Seminar Forest, Fire and Global Change (Russia 1996) and a number of international conferences the UN- ECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire proposed the establishment of an institution which at that time was preliminarily designated as a Global Fire Management Facility. On the basis of these recommendations the Government of Germany through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, in June 1998 provided initial funding for the establishment of such an entity which was designated Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC). The GFMC was inaugurated at the FAO Meeting on Public Policies Affecting Forest Fires (Rome, October 1998) and is in line with the:

  • Objectives of the UN International Decade of Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) and its follow-up arrangement UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), financed by the Foreign Office of Germany;
  • Objectives of work of the UN-FAO/ECE/ILO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire;
  • Recommendations of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and various scientific and policy conferences;
  • Policies of the UNESCO, the World Bank, Disaster  Management Facility (DMF), and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), expressed by the co-sponsorship of these organizations;
  • Research agendas and co-sponsorship of international science programmes devoted to Global Change Research: The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO), and the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA).

The GFMC provides a global portal for wildland fire documentation, information and monitoring and is publicly accessible through the Internet. The regularly updated national to global wildland fire products of the GFMC are generated by a worldwide network of cooperating institutions. The online and offline products include:

  • Early warning of fire danger and near-real time monitoring of fire events
  • Interpretation, synthesis and archive of global fire information
  • Support of local, national and international entities to develop long-term strategies or policies for wildland fire management, including community-based fire management approaches and advanced wildland fire management training for decision makers 
  • Serve as advisory body to the UN system through the coordination of the UN-ISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group and the ISDR Global Wildland Fire Network
  • Emergency hotline and liaison capabilities for providing assistance for rapid assessment and decision support in response to wildland fire emergencies under cooperative agreements with UN-OCHA, Emergency Services Branch and the WSSD Environmental Emergencies Partnership.

Additional Info

  • Acronym: GFMC
  • Number: +49 761 808011
  • Address:

    George-Koehler-Allee 75
    D-79110 Freiburg