U.S. Forest Service Visits to Algeria To Partner on Wildfire Preparedness and Watershed Management

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, engaged in official visits by two consecutive delegations to Algiers over the past two weeks.  The high-profile delegations engaged with Algerian government representatives to coordinate on technical support for disaster resiliency planning and watershed management, with a specific emphasis on enhancing wildfire preparedness and response systems.

The first U.S. Forest Service delegation focused on wildfire preparedness and met with Algerian government stakeholders including the Directorate General of Forestry, Civil Protection within the Ministry of Interior, Algerian Space Agency, National Office of Meteorology, and the National Institute for Forestry Research.  The Algerian and U.S. representatives exchanged information on current approaches to wildfire preparedness and response, including human, institutional, and equipment resources.

The second U.S. Forest Service delegation collaborated on watershed management, engaging with the Directorate General of Forestry, as well as with the Ministry of Water Resources’ National Agency for Dams and Transfers and Agency for Integrated Water Resources. The teams assessed opportunities for bilateral engagement, conducted a series of field visits, and agreed on next steps for a two-year U.S. cooperation agreement.

The visits underscored the commitment of the U.S. Forest Service to collaborate with Algeria by addressing the challenges posed by wildfires and watershed management. Dr. Mathew Horning, International Programs Manager at the U.S. Forest Service, remarked, “Learning from our Algerian partners about Algeria’s environment and goals was incredibly helpful in setting forth the path for our next partnership initiatives.” The visits furthered robust U.S.-Algerian partnerships on expertise sharing and contributed to the disaster resilience capacities of both countries.