Aiding the creation, development, and consolidation of thematic networks to promote research and facilitate technology transfer (XT 2004)

With support from the Catalan government’s Department of Universities, Research, and the Information Society.


The ALINFO thematic network brings together Catalonia’s leading research groups that specialize in forest fires and the regeneration of fire-damaged land, as well as the CEAM centre in Valencia. In Catalan, the acronym ALINFO stands for “Alternatives Analysis for Problems Associated with Large Forest Fires.”

This second edition of the network renews an initiative that began in 2002 (ALINFO 2001XT00061). The current edition expires in December 2006. Ten research groups and a total of 63 researchers comprise the network.

Aims and Objectives

Given the complexity and the structural nature of many causal elements in large forest fires, it becomes essential to handle these problems with a holistic approach that is, at its core, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and complementary. Several research groups in Catalonia are currently pursuing work that takes different approaches to the socio-environmental aspects of fire, specific proactive measures, and fire-fighting mechanisms, or topics that involve studying the environmental impact of fire (on soil / vegetation / wildlife), the regeneration of fire-damaged areas, and preparing these zones for subsequent fire seasons.

These different lines of research are part of a collaborative effort that may provide solutions to the recurrence of large forest fires. Bringing these research projects together in a single Thematic Network is a good first step toward defining ways to share knowledge and resources.

Often, however, research fails to identify the mechanisms needed and does not produce usable results that can ultimately be implemented. Society does not appreciate the socio-economic importance of forests, and there are no clear policies for combating the problems associated with large forest fires. We must, therefore, improve communication among the various stakeholders (environmental management specialists, professional associations, rural landowners, etc.) and communicate any resulting ideas to the responsible authorities. This way, research can be redirected toward practical matters that can contribute to problem solving.

So we need to improve the quality and quantity of research into forest fires and improve the sharing and distribution of results. The ALINFO Network for Research Promotion was created with the following goals:

  • To spread knowledge about the research into problems associated with large forest fires, facilitating meetings and debate among the various groups by bringing experts together in meetings and seminars.
  • To form a consensus regarding research needs, thus optimizing the complementarity of the various groups’ efforts. To create joint proposals and develop multidisciplinary research projects.
  • To involve the entities affected by fires (government agencies, nonprofits, etc.) in the debate over solutions to the problems of large forest fires, by holding multisector meetings and issuing publications, press releases, and so on.



Eduard Plana Bach
Coordinator, Forest Fires Task Force
Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia
Address: Pujada del seminari s/n E-25280 Solsona, Spain
Phone: +34 973 48 17 52
Fax: +34 973 48 13 92

Participating research groups:

Grup de Treball en Incendis Forestals GT-GIF / CTFC
[Forest Fires Task Force, Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia]

Number of members: 8
Coordinator of the Task Force and the Network::
Eduard Plana Bach

Grup de Recerca Ambiental Mediterrània GRAM / UB
[Mediterranean Environmental Research Group, University of Barcelona]

Number of members: 5
Coordinator: Xavier Úbeda Cartañà

Relacions Programa Forestal / CEAM
[Forestry Program Relations, Centre for Mediterranean Environmental Studies]

Number of members: 8
Coordinator: Ramon Vallejo Calzada

Ecologia del Foc / CREAF
[Fire Ecology, Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications]

Number of members: 11
Coordinator: Anselm Rodrigo Domínguez

Biologia Animal. Pertorbacions Ecològiques i Comunitats Animals Terrestres / UdG
[Animal Biology: Ecological Disturbances and Land Animal Communities, University of Girona]

Nº membres: 10
Responsable: Crisanto Gómez López

Centre d'Estudis del Risc Tecnològic CERTEC / UPC
[Centre for Technological Risk Studies, Catalonia Polytechnic University]

Number of members: 6
Coordinator: Josep Arnaldos Viger

Servei de Prevenció d’Incendis Forestals / DMAH
[Forest Fire Prevention Service, Department of the Environment and Housing, Government of Catalonia]

Number of members: 5
Coordinator: Francesc Xavier Castro Soria

Grup de Recerca d’Incendis Forestals del Departament de Geografia / UAB
[Forest Fire Research Group, Department of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona]

Number of members: 2
Coordinator: Rufí Cerdan Heredia

Unitat de Focs Forestals. Departament de Producció Vegetal i Ciència Forestal / UdL
[Forest Fires Unit, Department of Plant Production and Forest Science, University of Lleida]

Number of members: 6
Coordinator: Domingo Molina Terren

Anàlisi i gestió del paisatge / UdG
[Landscape Analysis and Management, University of Girona]

Number of members: 2
Coordinator: Josep Gordi Serrat

disseny Sigma SI  -  Copyright CTFC 2006