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  The protection of the world' environment cannot be effective without national and international fire management policies for natural, semi-natural and cultural landscapes and ecosystems that constitute an essential part of the habitable land and the functioning of the global system. National and international policies must be designed to meet both the specific local and the common global threats from wildfires and excessive application of fire in land-use change. These policies must be developed cooperatively with all the stakeholders involved in the protection of the environment and humanity.

A series of International Wildland Fire Conferences was initiated in the late 1980s aimed at bringing together both the technical members of the fire community and the authorities concerned with policy and national practices in wildland fire management to realise their common interests of wildland fire risk management and disaster reduction at local, national, regional and global scales.

During the International Wildland Fire Summit, held in Sydney, Australia, on 8 October 2003, the invitation presented by the representatives of Spain to organize and host the 4th International Wildland Fire Conference in 2007, was accepted.

The first general announcement of the Conference was presented at the 17th Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry, Rome, 15 March 2005, and at the 5th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, New York, 18 May 2005. The Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) at its 12th Session (22 November 2005) welcomed the proposal that the 4th International Wildland Fire Conference (Madrid, May 2007) be held under the auspices of ISDR and FAO.
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