FireShepherds consortium

Who we are?

Discover our team


The department of Pyrenees Orientales is very exposed to forest fire risk, due to the combination of several factors : its rugged terrain, reactive vegetation, its Mediterranean climate with strong winds and strong tourist traffic. On average, nearly 500ha are burned each year, with major fires: 1300ha in 2016, 6600ha in 1976.
To prevent and organize the fight against fires in the department, a working group DFCI (Defense of the Forest Against the Fire) brings together administrations, communities, relief services, foresters, breeders and pastoral services.
The Société d’Elevage des Pyrénées Orientales (SEPO), a departmental agricultural advisory body, is a member of this working group. It accompanies the farmers in the system of pastoral fuel cuts, in partnership with the Chambre d’Agriculture des PO. For more than 30 years, it has been advising breeders in their technical practices and administrative procedures. Thus, SEPO has followed nearly 220 agri-environmental contracts and treated by prescribed burning organized around 500 ha per year on sensitive areas of the department.


The University of Girona is a public institution located in north-east of Catalonia (Spain), close of the French border, dealing with higher Education and research. The researchers involved in the project are members of the Department of Geography. The tasks in Firshepherds are focused in the analysis of the competences to improve the curricula and training of the future shepherds in a context of environmental change, with a special attention to the role of fire. The evaluation of competences is based in a questionnaire answered by experts in this topic from different European countries

Consorci del Ter

The Consorci del Ter ( is a public organization constituted by 68 City Councils and 5 County Councils, that was created 20 years ago. It works in conservation projects for the improvement of the Ter river basin, in four areas; natural heritage (riparian forest habitats, threatened river fauna, land management through custody agreements, European nature conservation projects, etc.), cultural heritage (restoration of historic and cultural elements linked to water as mills, public laundries, bridges, springs, etc.), communication, education and environmental awareness (through the organization of public activities, talks in educative centers, exhibitions, etc.) and finally actions to revitalize the territory and promote sustainable tourism, especially through the “Ruta del Ter” (


AIDER Gran Canaria is a non-profit organization, of insular scope that works to involve the rural society of the island in the solution of common problems, through a development proyects designed and executed by agents and entities of the territory.

In cooperation with the Cabildo, AIDER Gran Canaria, has launched the School of Livestock and Grazing on the island, with the clear will to bet on a generational change formed and updated to remedy the rapid aging that is suffering the livestock sector in our territory .

On the other hand, the council is working “agreements” with the shepherds an shepherdess, for the environmental service they provide in the prevention of forest fires. An island map of improvement and expansion of pastures is being designed to create a diverse landscape, consisting of cultivated fields, pastures and different types of forests, to generate more obstacles to fire.

This project, FireShepherds, Pastors of the 21st century, framed in the program for cooperation and innovation Erasmus Plus, will be an instrument to improve the basic skills and professionalism of the students of the School, acquiring skills and competences in relation to the management of their herds in a context of risk of forest fires and changes in the landscape which requires new forms of public and private cooperation.


Landcare Germany (DVL) is the umbrella organization of at the moment 170 Landcare Associations (LCA) in Germany. These regional non-governmental associations link nature conservation groups with local farmers and local communities. The often opposing interest groups work together in LCAs voluntarily to care for the cultural landscape (e. g. dry grasslands) and traditional farming systems (e.g. pastoralism) which have created Germany´s landscape for centuries. The cultivation of land has led to diverse landscapes with mountain-meadows, poor soil pastures, hedgerows and orchards. By pooling interests and local forces LCAs implement integrated and sustainable land management practices in many rural areas in Germany to protect the adopted flora and fauna and to support local products as well as sustainable development.


PROQUENOR is an association formed by artisian cheesemakers from Gran Canaria Island. It was created with the aim of promoting Apellation of Origin “Queso flor de Guía, Queso de media flor de Guía y Queso de Guía”, as well as protecting the craft production of cheese.


The Municipality of Fundão is a public body and the main administrative institution of the Fundão county with around 29.213 inhabitants (2011). The city of Fundão is in the Cova da Beira, a large area situated in a mountainous region of the central eastern Portugal and composed by multiple landscapes: geographical and historical, human and cultural, natural and architectural, a place of contrasts that translates a physical and spiritual valuable heritage. Cherries, peaches and cheese from our sheep herds raised in pastures, are a land mark of Fundão.

In order to explore all this potential, the Municipality has been developing a strategy that consists in attracting more investment, creating the conditions for the implementation of business, strengthening the social cohesion, improving mobility with a greater commitment with his rural area, urban regeneration and tourism development.

Rurbans - Escola de pastors

Rurbans association is a non-for-profit organization working to enhance the extensive livestock farming and facilitating access to this activity to a new generation.

To do that, Rurbans runs the Shepherds’ School of Catalonia training new entrance to make possible farm succession. This training course takes 6 month of theoretical classes and practices to prepare future shepherds with all the knowledge they will need to work in this field.

However, one of the greatest threats that our students will face once they have finished their training is the difficulty to access to land. They will be forced to work on woodlands as nearly all other land is taken. So, our students need specific training to herd livestock for this kind of environment. The Firesheperds projects give perfect response to this need. Within the project Rurbans will be able to develop a training course providing a new generation of peasants, shepherds and farmers to achieve the needed knowledge to develop their activity in the forest.

Moreover, being in a Mediterranean region, herding the undergrowth reduce drastically the risk of fire propagation. That means that introducing livestock in the woodlands accomplish a relevant ecosystem service. This service can be used by shepherds to add value to their product and so increase the viability of their projects.

Escola Superior Agraria de Coimbra ESAC-IPC

Coimbra College of Agriculture (Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra, ESAC-IPC) was established in Coimbra in 1887 and is the most ancient agriculture school in Portugal. In 1985 was integrated into the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (IPC). With facilities and equipment adjusted to modern times we offer Tech Specialization (level 5), Bachelor (level 6) and Master (level 7) programs on agriculture, biotechnology, environmental technology and management, food engineering and technology, forest sciences, and ecotourism. We offer students a stimulating, supportive and friendly community environment, and the practice of several sports, such as rugby, horse riding, tennis, football, and gymnastics.
The campus of Coimbra College of Agriculture is a green area at the outskirts of Coimbra, where the students can find cultural experiences to complement their academic formation.


Neo-Agri is a french non profit organization, its main missions are:

  • Restore the image of the agricultural profession and promote generational renewal
  • Support, train and assist new-farmers, those that after a first life outside agriculture decide to become farmers implementing agroecological practices
  • Facilitate networking and co-construction from field to plate
  • Promote agro-ecology for an agricultural transition.

We also conduct field studies in collaboration with farmers organizations and public bodies on agrarian generational renewal, young farmers needs to settle sustainable farming models and the development of sustainable practices and farming models.

Pau Costa Foundation

Pau Costa Foundation was founded in 2011 with the ambition to become an international platform on forest fire management, as well as an instrument to investigate, train and disseminate on fire ecology and wildland fire management.The creation of such Foundation was motivated by the need to establish a common platform, capitalizing the knowledge and experience gathered by specialists in fire ecology and management and sharing it with others at national and international level.

Since then, Pau Costa Foundation has been working with and for the forestfire community to enlarge the knowledge-exchange platform; first starting in Spain, but rapidly growing and expanding to many countries around the world. Our present and future mission is to continue giving a voice to the fire community so their experience is imprinted in leading national and international projects. The community’s knowledge and experience should be used as a tool to help firefighters in their duty, but also to guide researchers and develop new technology.

We aim to reach more local and regional forest fire communities that, due to their active fire history, have developed knowledge currently unknown in other countries. We commit to spread and disseminate their valuable knowledge and make sure it can be used and shared with others.We also aim to reach countries with little experience on fire ecology and management, that due to climate change are expected to face forest fires in the upcoming years, for example northern Europe countries.It is fundamental to contribute to societal education on forest fire ecology and management in order to develop more secure and resilient societies, we will continue spreading our children’s educational programs and fostering fire education in rural communities. We help the forest fire community to have a voice and take part of political decision-making, so the experience of many are taken into account on safety, forest management and fire management legislation.

Fundación Cooprado

This foundation has its origin in COOPRADO’s  commitment to the social values of cooperativism such as mutual aid, responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity and aims to be an instrument to continue working for social integration, innovation and improvement of the image of the agricultural and livestock sector.
From the beginning Cooprado Foundation has worked in two different lines of action , on the one hand to strengthen the COOPRADO Cooperative’s link with the partner / partner and his family and with it the promotion of cooperativism and its social action, and on the other, to improve the visibility of the agricultural sector, through innovation and research support projects that allow its strengthening and competitiveness.


ANCOSE was founded in 1981 an nowadays it has arround 6000 associates, all of them owners of sheps or goats. The association gives technical support to almost 200 owners, including milk and cheese production.

The association gives support and technical advices to ranchers regarding pastures management, animal production, animal genetics, veterinarians, etc.

CFPPA Ariège-Comminges

The CFPPA is a major player in agricultural and forestry training in the Ariège-Comminges region. It is a constituent center of the EPLEFPA (Local Public School for Education, Training and Agricultural Promotion) Ariège-Pyrénées in Pamiers. The  activities are closely linked to the Pyrenees Massif. Indeed, its involvement in pastoralism, agriculture and forestry in mountain areas gives it an expert role in these three sectors, pillars of territorial economic development.

Consorci de la Serra de Llaberia

The Serra de Llaberia Consortium is a public entity created in 2004 and currently composed by 8 members (6 city councils, a decentralized municipal entity and the Catalan government), whose main objective is the preservation, revaluation and integral management of the Natural Area of the Serra de Llaberia, one of the best preserved mountain places in the Catalan Pre-coastal massif.

It has had a strong economic impact on its municipalities.
It has achieved maximum financial autonomy.
It has created a network of public-private collaboration.
Its model is an example  of land management for many other territories.
The management area of the Consortium continues to increase (it already reaches 60,000 hectares and, therefore, exceeds 10,350 hectares in length in the protected area of the EIN and the Natura 2000 Network).

Find us!

We are from Germany, France, Spain and Portugal