Dialogue & Action Against Wildfires: Empowering Communities for Disaster Resilience
“Dialogue & Action Against Wildfires” is a project led by Dock, in response to ACCTING’s call for pilots Next time better and more inclusive. This call aims to co-create a scenario for handling a disaster using a bottom-up approach, to inform and trigger a behavioural change in actors from local communities as well as from authorities.
Dock – Social Solidarity Economy Zone is a non-profit organisation located in Athens, Greece. It envisions SSE as an alternative way of organising economy and society based on the values of Solidarity, Sustainability and Social Justice. It aims to contribute to the visibility of SSE in Greece by organising public events, to empower SSE enterprises and initiatives by providing information, educational programmes, business support, seminars and tools.
The project will focus on a cluster of four mountainous villages in Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece. With 570 inhabitants and 3.900 hectares rich in natural and cultural heritage sites, these villages serve as a microcosm that could model wildfire resilience for similarly at-risk territories
The project aims to raise awareness and build the necessary capacity and social and civic infrastructure to not only prevent devastating fire damage, but also to form a coordinated, community-based response that can protect lives, homes, and natural resources.
Through a participatory design process that prioritizes the needs and experiences of the most vulnerable groups, this project seeks to convert vulnerability into resilience, empowering locals not just for surviving wildfires, but for transforming their communities into, “Fire Smart Territories”.
The project will:
- establish a cross-sectoral advisory board including local government officials, key community figures, and representatives from vulnerable groups like the elderly and women.
- conduct hands-on, collaborative scenario-planning exercises in each targeted village, followed by simulated disaster response drills using local resources.
- set up both physical and digital platforms to facilitate open community discussions on vulnerabilities, equality, and the ethical dimensions of disaster management.
- methodically analyse and convert all lessons learned and data collected into a set of actionable policy recommendations. These recommendations will then be presented to local and regional policymakers, aiming for long-term, systemic change.
By directly involving these vulnerable groups in the participatory design and outcome-based discussions, the project aspires to take a more inclusive, democratic, and truly community-led approach to wildfire prevention and response. Initiating in a cluster of four villages, the project is designed for scalability, both geographically and methodologically, and could be extended to nearby villages.
Advocacy efforts will aim at institutionalising the project’s approach within local government frameworks, thereby ensuring long-term sustainability and far-reaching impact. All materials will be publicly available and open source, increasing accessibility for varied communities and stakeholders.