“We are estimating that, by the end of August, we will be able to have regional programs to be approved on a regional scale. Then, until the end of the year, we will have the sub regional plans for each of the five regions”, said AGIF president Tiago Oliveira, within the scope of the PNGIFR National Action Program (PNA), aimed only at the mainland territory, with a 2020-2030 horizon and a total budget of around EUR 7 billion.

In an interview with the Lusa News Agency, Tiago Oliveira defended the need to guarantee “national/regional coherence”, with the regional actors building the solution for their territories, since the PNA, prepared by AGIF and which was in public consultation until Sunday, it proposes four levels of governance: national, regional, sub-regional and municipal.

“Then, each region will make its sub-regional plans for the entities, the municipalities, the forest producers' organizations, all the people who live there, say: here the priority is to solve the ignition problem, here the priority it means having another fire engine”, explained the forestry engineer, specialized in fire risk management and governance.

With the program taking shape and consistency on a regional and sub-regional scale, the role of AGIF - a public institute that is subject to the superintendence and supervision of the Prime Minister - involves “ensuring this alignment, monitoring and informing the political power” to avoid departing from the PNA objective, including making possible the challenge of “Portugal protected from serious rural fires” in 2030.

At the municipal level, the Municipal Plans for the Defense of the Forest Against Fires (PMDFCI), which “in 2018 90 percent of them were constituted and approved”, as a result of AGIF's work, “will have a more executive and more operational formulation”.

"Not only do they change their name, which are the municipal execution plans, but the planning is more tactical and operational", said Tiago Oliveira, referring that they will be monitored annually at the municipal levels, taking into account what the neighbouring municipality is doing.

In this context, a transition period is foreseen for the municipalities, which will be “two, three years of change”, through the revision of the National System for the Defense of the Forest against Fires (SNDFCI), according to AGIF's proposal.