Aude: from FLAude to ALEOFEU, from floods to forest fires, the department at the heart of strategies to be rethought in the face of climate change

ALEOFEU is the second Aude project financed within the framework of the Space Climate Observatory (SCO). A program which, within two years, should lead to a methodology to update the forest fire hazard annually, better assess the water status of the vegetation. But also provide tools to project the effects of climate change on fire risk.

In July 2022, the FLAude project became a reality with the platform FORO (Flood observatory for resilient Occitanie, flood observatory for resilient Occitanie, Editor’s note): a tool combining satellite images, artificial intelligence and data aggregations, designed to help Aude communities and local actors better adapt territories to the risks of extreme rainfall. A threat already there. That climate change only accentuates. FORO, the result of two years of work as part of a project funded by the Space for climate observatory (SCO) France and the Copernicus climate change service (C3S). Final point of a collaboration initiated as soon as the floods of October 2018 between the departmental direction of the territories and the sea (DDTM) and the national center for space studies (CNES), joined in the adventure by Météo France, the University of Toulouse 2, the General Society for Territorial Evaluation (SGEvT) and Inrae.

With ALEOFEU, labeled SCO in March 2022, DDTM, CNES, Météo France, Inrae are once again in the game. This time for another risk to which Aude is also particularly exposed, forest fires. With two new actors: the national forest office, and the essential departmental fire and rescue service (Sdis) of Aude. A protagonist obviously interested in the prospects targeted by ALEOFEU, between the annually updatable forest fire hazard and a better assessment of the water status of the vegetation.

This methodology would work in departments that will be at the forefront of climate change

An Sdis which, with the DDTM, is indeed the “field referent, but also the pilot of the whole project”insists Hélène de Boissezon, in charge of the development of the use of space in the field of risk and climate change at CNES: “This is the difference with FLAude, for which CNES was in charge of piloting; ALEOFEU is not at all a project initiated by the space sector. It stems from the reality of the risk of forest fires in Aude and way in which FLAude worked: in co-construction, in a very integrated way between field and space. which deals with their concrete needs. Without forgetting that we are here on completely sovereign subjects: there are only public actors because the question of the fight against forest fires cannot give rise to a commercial service, such as this is the case for FORO.”

An obvious ambition remains. If Aude already knows too well the risk of forest fire, other departments have just, and brutally, discovered its reality. That climate change will inevitably make heavier. This is why Fabien Dall Occhio, head of the geographic information system (GIS) unit of the DDTM, advances “the great hope of releasing something very concrete from ALEOFEU. We have a year to develop indicators, and a summer season to be able to compare them in the field”. And in 2024, “potentially, the basis of a new official method of mapping the forest fire hazard, reviewable annually”, continues Hélène de Boissezon. Far from being limited to Aude, underlines Jean-Paul Baylac, head of the forest fire service at Sdis 11: “These methodologies, if they work in a department as diverse as Aude, in terms of climate, vegetation, they would therefore work elsewhere, in departments which will be at the forefront of climate change. And which will be obliged to develop a frequently updated hazard map.”

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Aude: with ALEOFEU, space and science mobilized to integrate the effects of climate change on forest fire risk

Space for Climate Observatory: space at the service of adaptation to climate change

Five years since the Space for Climate Observatory project was launched, on the occasion of the 1st edition of the One Planet Summit, in 2017, in Paris. Two years later, the SCO became a reality, with the signature of a declaration of interest by 23 space agencies and international organizations. An international network formalized to “promote the emergence of operational applications” based on satellite data “for monitoring, mitigation and adaptation to climate change”. In three years, 82 projects have been labeled around the world, from Paraguay to Burkina Faso via Laos, around 18 themes (coastals, biodiversity, health, energy, agriculture, etc.) and 18 sustainable development objectives. (access to safe water and sanitation, fight against poverty and hunger, use of renewable energies, responsible consumption and production). Nationally, SCO France has 52 labeled projects, with 22 partners, and €12.5 million in overall funding.

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Aude: a network of very high-speed cameras to anticipate fires, floods and drought

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Aude: from FLAude to ALEOFEU, from floods to forest fires, the department at the heart of strategies to be rethought in the face of climate change

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