On Monday, 17 April 2023, there was a public hearing in the German Bundestag on national efforts to improve forest fire protection in Germany. DKKV member Prof. Dr. Goldammer from the Global Fire Monitoring Center was invited as an expert. In his statement, Goldammer pointed out that the cross-sectional task of “landscape fires” poses challenges to the traditionally sectorally delimited responsibility of authorities as well as to the fragmented political and administrative distribution of tasks in Germany due to federalism. He pleaded for the development of a national policy in which the existing mechanisms of cooperation between the Länder and the federal government are to be reviewed and improved.

DKKV Board Chair Leon Eckert took part in the hearing on behalf of his parliamentary group Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen. Among other things, Eckert asked what concrete measures the federal government can take to strengthen scientific monitoring in forest firefighting. Dr Kristen Thonicke, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, then called for improved documentation of the investigation of forest fire causes as well as increased research with regard to the regeneration of forest fire areas.

Furthermore, Eckert asked Mr. Goldammer for an assessment of necessary measures that the federal government should implement in order to achieve an improvement in forest fire fighting. The expert then went into the strengthening of volunteerism, which should not only refer to the volunteer fire brigades, but should also include civil society institutions and companies. In this context, Goldammer also pointed to the formation of a new civil group that bundles expertise from science, politics and practice and offers strategy advice. In his opinion, sufficient knowledge is available in Germany – it is only failing to apply it.

The recording of the hearing and the written statements of the experts can be found here.