The Kick-off meeting of the project Ofidia 2 – Operational FIre Danger preventIon platform, co-funded for 1.854.000 euro by the Interreg V-A Greece-Italy Programme 2014-2020, was held on 7-8 May in Lecce.
A fruitful cooperation between scientific research, cutting-edge technologies, policymakers and Italian and Greek public agencies will improve the safety of environment from wildfires danger. Lead Partner of the project is CMCC Foundation; the project partners are Decentralized Administration of Epirus-Western Macedonia, Forest Directorate (DAEWM), University of Ioannina, Puglia Region – Civil Protection Section; associated partners: Municipality of Lecce, ARIF (Regional Agency for Irrigation and Forest Activities)
A network of technologies, infrastructures and scientific knowledge is the main feature of the project that aims to develop environmental protection measures in Puglia Region (Italy) and the Epirus Region (Greece) in order to prevent and to fight wildfires in the forests and rural areas.
HD video cameras, wireless sensors networks, and drones are the tools provided to monitor remotely located areas in two Regions, and a new control room will be the headquarter of operational activities.
OFIDIA 2 project capitalizes the results of the previous project Ofidia, already funded during the 2007-2013 Programming Period, by covering a larger area in both regions. The wireless sensors networks is an operational big data infrastructure that makes available information to protect the environment, its biodiversity, and the natural environmental heritage, which are the pivotal resources for the growth of the involved area. The project coordinator, Giovanni Aloisio, underlined that “The technological infrastructures, such as the Supercomputing Centers, the advanced scientific knowledge, together with the collaboration with policy-makers and stakeholders, and the use of cutting-edge innovation technologies enhance a process which aims at benefiting the whole society”. Patrizia Guida – Education, Europe and International Cooperation of Municipality of Lecce declared that “The Municipality of Lecce will work to involve the schools in several activities related to the project. We will realize a contest for kids of the middle school. It will be a way to exploit the potential of this scientific project also to enhance the awareness and participation of young generations on topics highly relevant to our community.
Stergios Anastasiadis of the University of Ioannina, (Gr) underlined that “Starting from the important expertise gathered from OFIDIA 1 and the very positive feedback from the participating stakeholders, we are optimistic to deliver improved weather forecasts and even more powerful and flexible tools of high value to the regional and national authorities for the effective prevention and fighting of the forest wildfires in the cross-border area.”