Greece Wildfire National Strategy
The 2021 wildfires in Greece devastated over 125,000 hectares of land and followed a historic heatwave (116.8 F).
In September 2021, the Greek Prime Minister upgraded the Ministry of Climate Change and Civil Protection to a fully- fledged Ministry and appointed a new Minister. The Ministry was designated to combat all types of climate challenges, and secured funding to make several big-ticket purchases under the AIGIS Program.
AIGIS has 1.76 billion Euro ($1.98) of funding focused on 4 pillars:
Pillar One: Upgrade of Infrastructure, Facilities, and Provision of Educational Programs
This pillar focuses on the creation/upgrade of facilities including: National Data Analysis Center, Center for Prevention and Management of Natural Disaster, Center for Critical Infrastructure Control, Inter-Ministerial Center for Information and Management, Information and Management Center, Headquarters for Fire Brigade. As of January 2022, many of these centers have been located in the former press building of the 2004 Olympics with state- of-the-art facilities and continued plans for upgrades. The pillar also focuses on emergency call agencies and vehicles for transport.
Pillar Two: Early Warning Systems and Means of Prevention
This pillar focuses on several areas including: state of the art intelligent fire detection and extinguishing systems, early warning systems for natural and man-made disasters, meteorological stations and radars, early communication stations, systems for the collection and processing of epidemiological data, as well as equipment for the immediate control and timely detection of health threats on the mainland and at the cross-border level, and mechanical and construction and equipment machinery focused on prevention/intervention/response.
Pillar Three: Equipment and Means of Support and Coordination
The third pillar focuses on: air surveillance management and coordination centers, drones for monitoring and data recording and telecommunications recovery, modern/unified/wireless telecommunication system, mobile business centers, sanitary equipment and isolation and patient transport capsules.
Pillar Four: Aerial Firefighting Equipment and Ground Infrastructure
The fourth pillar focuses on: helicopters and firefighting aircraft, personnel transport helicopters and first response teams, state of the art vehicles for patrolling and evacuating, kerosene vehicles for refueling, floating rescue and patient transport equipment, medical evacuation equipment, folding bridges, and field hospitals.
U.S. firms that offer innovative solutions and technologies in this space can compete in future tenders that will be released. The Ministry is currently focusing on finalizing procurement for its first tranche of aerial solutions. In fact, it has even committed to a direct commercial purchase of solutions from a U.S. firm. Procurement for other products and services will follow in stages, likely not in time for the upcoming 2022 firefighting season.
The Commercial Service is focused on ensuring that the Greek stakeholders are aware of the many U.S. technologies and solutions that exist. We can also share further detail on potential programs based on the reception we are getting from stakeholders in the Greek Government.
Should you be interested in introducing your solutions to the Greek Government, please contact Nikos.Papachrys@trade.gov.