The Non Profit Company (formerly known as FFA Section 21 Company) was formed to further the implementation of all aspects of integrated fire management by facilitating the development of relationships, funding mechanisms and projects that will create an enabling environment for its development. The company provides a platform for civil society, the private sector, donor and government agencies to combine their fire management efforts. The FireWise Communities Programme is also managed under the auspices of this Non Profit Company and was conceived by the WoFP partners as a multi-stakeholder advocacy and awareness platform, able to interact directly with communities at risk from wildfires. The aim is to change public and community behaviour, reducing unwanted ignitions and thus reducing the frequency of damaging wildfires.
Various publications and materials have been conceptualised and reproduced between 2003 and 2011. All are still relevant for use in the years ahead. A substantial body of knowledge has now been built up. Training courses, for which a fee is charged, are held annually, and there is potential to grow this aspect.
The FFA Public Benefit Organisation implements the FireWise Community concepts via two main routes:
Firstly through voluntary FireWise Community projects and secondly through managing the implementation of FireWise Community Wage Incentive (WI) projects. The voluntary and employment models are bound together by a FireWise Recognition Programme. The Recognition Programme provides a means of measuring, evaluating and monitoring the development of the FireWise model in the future.
Recently, there has been international recognition for the work being done, with opportunities for partnership arrangements expanding into sub-Saharan Africa, USA, Canada, Asia and New Zealand.
Other current projects still in the development and implementation phase are the Global Environment Facility (GEF) project in the Western Cape and the GIZ Trilateral SA Tanzanian project.
The GEF project is an approx R35M project over 3 years, registered as a Special Climate Change Fund project. It aims to mainstream integrated fire management practice across the fynbos biome, including some innovative concepts and piloting new ideas within sub-projects. The PBO is the registered Project Executant and employs a project co-ordinator to oversee and manage the project, reporting back to the National Department of Environmental Affairs (the country focal point for climate change) UNDP country office, who manage the fund on behalf of GEF and the World Bank, via an executive committee.
For more information on FireWise see www.firewisesa.org.za