Resolution No. 113/2023 – Auditor General’s Office – Management Report, National Fire Management Service.
Environmental Law & Climate Change Department Report | Resolution No. 113/2023 – Auditor General’s Office – Management Report, National Fire Management Service (12.07.2023)
The General Audit Office of the Nation by means of Resolution No. 113/2023 (Proceeding No. 364/19), approved the Management Report in relation to the National Fire Management System, prevention, warning, firefighting, damage assessment and recomposition and restoration actions in Patagonia Zone of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, audited period from 01/01/2016 to 12/31/2021, produced by the Planning and Special Projects Management.
The overall objective of the report is to evaluate the effectiveness of MAyDS as the enforcement authority of Law 26,815 in the management of fire management in the Patagonian Region. Specifically, to evaluate the effectiveness of MAyDS in:
– Prevention and early warning actions,
– Firefighting actions during the fires that have occurred, and
– Recomposition and restoration actions.
Among the main findings verified by the AGN in the framework of this procedure are:
– The application of Law 26,815 is hindered due to its lack of regulation, despite its 10 years of validity.
– During the audited period, the SFMF Delta Region was not created (as established by Res. APN-MAD 440/16).
– Until 12/31/2021 the National Fire Management Plan was not elaborated, despite the stipulations of Law 26.815 and the existence of the D.A. 2068/2020 that requires its design in coordination with the Provincial Jurisdictions and the APN.
– There is no articulation between the SFMF and the provincial jurisdictions within the scope of COFEMA for the implementation of preventive policies, support to fire management strategies, early warning and rapid and effective fire fighting.
– During the audited period, the Advisory Council was not formed, composed of fire management representatives from the provincial jurisdictions, APN and CABA, to advise on SFMF management.
– There is no evidence of mutual aid, cooperation and exchange agreements with other countries in the area of fire management.
– Within the SFMF, there is no coordination with the provinces in the investigation of the causes of forest fires.
– There was no evidence of actions to protect and preserve the environment as a result of the damage caused by the fires that occurred during the audited period.
– The audit team did not obtain the regional fire management plans of the NOA, NEA, Central and Patagonia regions.
– During the audited period, the Pampean region reduced the number of fire engines by 80% despite being the region most affected by the fires.
– The SFMF does not have an integral and centralized computer system that effectively safeguards the information generated by the Early Warning and Fire Danger Assessment System.
Some of its final recommendations, among others, are:
– Promote the regulation of Law No. 26,815, which will allow compliance with the provisions of Articles 11 and 19.
– Adapt the regionalization of the SNMF to the division of ecoregions established by Resolution APN-MAD 440/16.
– Elaborate the National Fire Management Plan in coordination with the Provincial Jurisdictions and the APN.
– Articulate within the scope of COFEMA the implementation of preventive policies, support to fire management strategies, early warning and rapid and effective fire fighting.
– To conform the Advisory Council integrated by fire management representatives of the provincial jurisdictions, APN and CABA.
– Enter into mutual aid, cooperation and exchange agreements with other countries on fire management in terms of research and technological development, professional and technical training, and operational assistance.
– Design and implement a methodology for the evaluation and determination of fire damage (impacts on soil, flora, fauna and cultural, archeological, paleontological and urbanistic assets).
– Articulate, within the framework of the SNMF and the provincial jurisdictions, actions for the protection and preservation of the environment as a result of the damage caused by fires.
– Implement a systematized registry of operational actions between local jurisdictions and the National Brigade to evaluate the efficacy, efficiency and effectiveness of the SFMF.
– Design and implement a program of labor competencies and continuous training according to the phytogeographic characteristics of each of the regions.
– Form and train national brigades in each of the regions into which the SFMF is divided in order to achieve rapid and safe action.
– Design regional fire management plans integrated with local plans and designate the coordinator of the Northern Region, who has been absent since 2020.
– Effectively execute the national budget.
– Provide the necessary financial resources to equip the regional coordinating offices and jurisdictions with a vehicle fleet and an appropiate maintenance program.
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