Governments and authorities are working harder than ever to protect their nation and keep their citizens safe from crises, ranging from natural disasters to terrorist threats to global pandemics.
One step that has proved invaluable to help avert crisis is to have an effective public warning system in place. To be effective, public warning systems need to involve the communities at risk, facilitate public education and awareness of the risks, disseminate alerts and warnings, and ensure there is a constant state of preparedness.
The public warning system should comprise of a robust multi-channel communication strategy, a critical event management plan and the supporting technology and software to execute the strategy and plan.
Public warning systems – Crucial safety feature for countries endangered by natural disasters
Natural disasters are on the rise, one more catastrophic than the next. The goal for governments and authorities is to protect their country and people before, during and after these critical events.
These warnings cannot be effective if people do not buy into them, therefore warnings from authorities need to be timely and need to be accurate. The authority’s ability to communicate with the public is paramount.
One government that has seen the value in deploying a public warning system as well as having a strong critical event management plan in place is the Government of Odisha in India. They experienced a deadly super cyclone in 1999, so when Super-cyclone Fani hit in May 2019, due to the government’s preparedness and planning, and the public warning system that had been put in place, crisis was averted.
Their evacuation plan could be classified as an early warning success story and quite an achievement for a poor state in India being able to move a million people to safety within a day or two. The public warning system was provided to the Odisha government by Everbridge, experts in critical event management and public warning systems.
Plan. Alert. Respond. Recover
Everbridge has been working with governments throughout the world and on various types of critical events. As of 2019 they have 3,662 clients in the public safety sector, and of those 3,612 are actively operating a public warning system with 467 of them using cell broadcast. Everbridge reported having sent 3.1 billion messages in 2019.
They advise that the industry best practice to public warning is to communicate. Communicate with all stakeholders, communicate across all stages of the incident, and communicate with the right people at the right time. Leverage local intelligence and maximise the effectiveness to the public warning system using mobile broadcast and location-based SMS.
Recently selected by Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communications to power their emergency warning messaging system, they have also been deployed widely throughout Europe and are used nationwide in countries such as Iceland, Greece, The Netherlands and Sweden. Everbridge are active in states in India and are working closely with the governments in Singapore and Australia .
In Australia , the state and federal authorities have been working tirelessly to combat the fire crisis. a crisis that is present in every state and occurs regularly throughout the year.
In combination with Australia’s major telecommunications companies, the Everbridge Public Warning solution will be used to power Emergency Alert Australia, providing population-wide alerting to help reach the country’s over 25 million residents and approximately 9 million annual visitors.
Anyone in an area where a sudden, critical event occurs such as fire, extreme weather or a terror attack, residents and visitors to Australia will receive location-based SMS notifications on their mobile phones, in addition to smart phone mobile app notifications and fixed line voice alerts, among other modes of communication.
Everbridge Public Warning leverages existing telecom infrastructure, with no opt-in required, to reach everyone within a geographic area to reduce disaster risk, support first responder communications, and analyse disaster communication effectiveness for subsequent mitigation activities.
“Our Public Warning solution enables government organizations and public safety agencies to immediately connect with every person in an affected area during a critical event regardless of nationality, residency or mobile telephone handset type,” said Jaime Ellertson, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Everbridge.
“Australia has served as a model example for population-wide alerting and emergency preparedness over the past decade, and we are honoured to support them on the evolution of their national system.”
The Power of a Public Warning System during a Pandemic
Governments are currently dealing with different phases of the pandemic whether it is in lockdown, gradual exit or containment phase. It is worth noting the countries that are currently deploying a public warning system are now reporting fewer cases of COVID-19
The criticality of population alerting has never been more relevant than during the current outbreak of COVID-19.
The citizens of Norway, for example, received critical countrywide communications earlier this year during the onset of COVID-19. The Norwegian Directorate for Health sent a record 5.4 million messages to every mobile phone in Norway using Everbridge Public Warning.
Norway relies on its Directorate for Health to send critical messages to mobile phones before, during and after an emergency. With this platform, The Directorate for Health is able to reach Norway’s over five million residents and the country’s even larger number of approximately eight million annual visitors. The Directorate for Health also sent a message to all non-Norwegian phones roaming inside the country in English, French, German, Spanish, Polish and Russian, providing critical instructions for foreign nationals.
“Governments require the best of both options – the capability to deliver a massive number of messages very quickly as well as the ability to target precisely who receives alerts. Everbridge represents the only population alerting provider that eliminates these trade-offs and delivers optimised capabilities based on the needs of the use case in each country.” said Imad Mouline, Chief Technology Officer at Everbridge.
The Public Warning System combines cell-broadcast and address-, group-, and location-based, multi-channel technologies.
The hybrid platform enables countries to protect against coronavirus by sharing updates on COVID-19 hotspots, coordinating first responders and healthcare resources, establishing two-way communications with at-risk populations, and manage disruptions to transportation, education, and other critical services.
Given the impact to public safety and economies around the world from the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other potential disasters and crisis, every government can benefit from a modern and scalable platform to reach all citizens effectively and efficiently in times of crisis.
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative made a speech at the Smart Nation Ambassadors Emerging Stronger Conversation and Appreciation Event on 25th September 2020. The Minister began by thanking the 1600 volunteers who have joined the Smart Ambassador movement since January last year.
The Smart Nation Ambassadors range from university students teaching coding to underprivileged youths, techie maker groups who have been passionately fixing old devices, making them “smart” again, making them available to the wider public and especially to the less privileged, to grandmothers who want to teach other seniors how to use apps like Life.SG and Singpass Mobile.
The Minister highlighted the contributions of a few Star Ambassadors and paid special tribute to those who have gone over and above, to motivate others along their digital journey.
Star Ambassadors are individuals who have contributed to Smart Nation efforts in various capacities – from taking the initiative to lead and coordinate our events to rallying their friends and communities to become better advocates of Smart Nation. We hope to award more Star Ambassadors in the coming years as they continue to be role models for our community.
Smart Ambassador Initiatives
The RSVP Organisation of Senior Volunteers is collaborating with Smart Nation Digital Government Office to develop a training curriculum and portal. It will have relevant and exciting e-learning modules on Smart Nation initiatives, as well a showcase of soft skills for engagement especially in the areas of communication and active
For Smart Nation Ambassadors with young children or are keen to volunteer with kids, the Minister announced that the government are working with TOUCH Community Services, Facebook and MeshMinds to produce an Augmented Reality book for children aged five to seven years old. They hope to distribute to all pre-schools and libraries. The book will take kids on a journey to discover the possibilities of how technology can improve the way we work, live and play.
Using Tech for a greater purpose
The Minister highlighted that technology is to enhance everyday lives. He said “This is actually a very important reminder that it is not about tech but about human beings, human relations, and human interaction. There’s still no substitute for face-to-face meetings and direct contact, and that is why the other idea that we perhaps need to, in the next phase, look at organising our Smart Nation Ambassadors at a regional or local level, makes sense. It also dovetails with the idea that real value is when the virtual world meets the real world.”
“This interface ultimately reminds us of what we are trying to do; which is to make our real world a better world using digital technology and the virtual world. It’s not the other way around. We’re not trying to leave the real world to enter a purely virtual world. Of which, some parts are not necessarily edifying, pleasant or unified. So that’s one key idea which I have taken away; to not forget the human dimension and the human touch.”
Another key point that the Minister highlighted was that Smart Ambassador initiatives ensure that no-one is left behind. “We need to make sure we are inclusive regardless of age, language, and digital familiarity. And that’s why all the efforts which you all have put in such as direct hand-holding of seniors, of people who are disabled or people who are just less familiar and even scared of technology. These efforts are absolutely critical, and I just want to thank all of you who have really put your energy and passion into making sure no one is excluded from the digital revolution.”
With the recent announcements by India’s Prime Minister on 15th August 2020, the nation plans to ensure high-speed internet connectivity via an optical fibre network for the more than 600,000 villages across India within 1000 days. The stated objective of the initiative is to convert every village into a Digital Village, enhance digital empowerment and awareness and to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural settings. The coverage aims to enable India’s digital revolution to reach the farthest corner of the nation and to foster inclusive socio-economic growth for all.
The first steps towards this pan-nation coverage came with the launch of a project to connect all 45,945 villages in Bihar with Optical Fibre Internet Service. According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, on completion, Bihar will be the first state in India to connect all its villages by optical fibre. The Common Service Centre Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV) will provide 1 Wi-Fi and 5 FTTH connections for one year free of cost to identified government Institutions, primary schools, Anganwadi Centres, Aasha workers and Jeevika Didi, etc. Additionally, 1 Wi-Fi provision will be made at a public place in every village.
The project will be executed with the combined efforts of the Department of Telecom which has already connected 1.5 lakh Gram Panchayats across India with optical fibre internet service, along with Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and Common Service Centres (CSC).
The CSC has 34,821 Centres throughout Bihar and it will utilise this workforce to not only implement this project but also make it professionally run to provide Optical Fibre Internet Services for common citizens at every village of Bihar. This project will be completed by Q1 of 2021 at an approximate cost of Rs. 1,000 Crore (US$ 137 million).
The day was considered historic, as not only for the state of Bihar but for the entire country as the government is taking major steps to make its villages the mainstay of AtmaNirbharBharat (self-reliant India).
India is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of digital transactions. In August 2020 alone about Rs 3 lakh crore (USD 40 billion) worth transactions were made through UPI. While India has been aggressively pushing digital commerce and e-transactions, the pandemic is driving education, healthcare and daily life online. With the huge increase in internet demand to live life across India, it is necessary to ensure that even villages of the country have good quality, high-speed internet.
The approach is outcome-based with special focus on utilisation of the BharatNet with Service Level Agreement (SLA) commitment. On completion and running, a socio-economic impact assessment would be carried out by national premier institutions to understand the benefits and success of this pilot project. There will be a comprehensive Consumer Redressal Mechanism; a full-fledged customer care service shall be established by CSC-SPV for redressal of consumer grievances.
Speedier connectivity would provide many online benefits as well as access to global markets for all sectors. This project will boost digital services like e-Education, e-Agriculture, Tele-Medicine, Tele-law and other social security schemes. Real-time data on weather, education, business, health and safety will allow India and Indians to thrive in a COVID-19 era.
The management of critical events is becoming an increasingly important and widespread practice. From significant weather events, natural disasters and global pandemics, critical events create operational disruptions and have an enormous financial impact.
The COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps the aptest example of this. Some nations have buckled under the pressure generated by the economic upheaval and setbacks the virus has caused. Other nations, like Malaysia, have risen to the challenge and have employed technology in innovative and efficient ways.
For example, in March 2020, the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) rolled out a digital tracking device to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state. The digital surveillance solution gave the state disaster management committee the “scalable capability” to monitor the disease at all points of entry in Sarawak.
Under the solution, all those entering Sarawak were issued a QR-coded wristband based on two categories: person under investigation (PUI) and 14-day stay home notice. Wearers were required to report their situation twice daily by scanning their wristband’s QR code to submit the information.
Data collated will allow the state disaster management committee to make informed decisions and to conduct random checks on the wearers. The wearers’ location enables the committee to establish hotspots, a key strategy to curb further spread of the disease, the SMA General Manager had said in a statement.
At the time, various tracker systems had been deployed in China, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong where the data collected was crucial in managing the shape and evolution of the virus’ spread.
The state disaster management committee had earlier enlisted SMA to develop a digital system to track persons undergoing self-quarantine for Covid-19. Ultimately, this solution will be integrated into the ‘Permission to Enter/Exit’ system to effectively monitor Sarawak’s entry points.
This move resulted in the state, and Malaysia, being lauded for its efforts in combating the virus. On 22 September 2020, the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) utilization of technology to curb the Covid-19 pandemic was recognised as the committee was awarded the Malaysian Technology Excellence Award (MTEA) by Singapore Business Review 2020 in Kuala Lumpur.
SDMC’s initiative for the development of two key applications, namely i-Alerts and enterSarawak, and the seamless integration of both systems was acknowledged by the judging committee from Deloitte Asia Pacific, KPMG Malaysia, BDO, Crowe Growth Consulting as well as Ernst & Young Advisory Services as riding the disruption wave and leading the technological revolution by leveraging on technology as a key catalyst to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sarawak.
The award was received by the General Manager of the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) on behalf of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee. He stated that the agency aims to be the leader in the Digitalisation of Malaysia; being at the forefront, realising The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak’s vision of a robust Digital Economy.
As strategised by SMA, the applications, which focus on data interoperability, allows for the harmonised approach of collecting and transmitting data between stakeholders, decision-makers and the public. This empowered the State to channel all relevant information via a single and globally interoperable information structure thus avoiding the unnecessary complexity in systems and improve overall efficiency.
The uniformity of these platform creates speed, systemization and standardization which improves overall efficiency across the entire disaster lifecycle thus allowing enterSarawak to be seamlessly applied across 33 Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security centres (ICQS) in Sarawak immediately during MCO creating touchless border security while i- Alerts acts as the Core Integrated Disaster Management Platform for SDMC.
The open standards for the system also ensure enhanced scaling and improved efficiency of the timeliness of the transfer of information. Furthermore, by making full use of existing data in the disaster management sector, i-Alerts can adopt mechanisms that ensure resource verification, findability, accessibility, interoperability, reuse and leverage the growth of existing Government Open Data initiatives.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) will organise a mega virtual summit on artificial intelligence (AI), Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020.
RAISE 2020 will be held from 5-9 October. It will be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and chart a course for using AI for social transformation, inclusion, and empowerment in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education, and smart mobility, among other sectors.
The summit is a first of its kind, a global meeting of minds on AI to drive India’s vision for digital transformation. The event will witness robust participation from global industry leaders, key opinion makers, government representatives, and academia.
According to a press release, at the summit, delegates and experts in research, policy, and innovation on AI will come together from across the world. Keynote speeches and panel discussions will frame the summit, on cross-sector subjects like leveraging AI for pandemic preparedness, the impetus that innovation places on digitisation, inclusive AI, and partnerships for successful innovation.
The RAISE 2020 Summit will also feature startups working in AI-related fields. Startups chosen through the AI Solution Challenge will showcase their solutions in the AI Startup Pitchfest. This is part of the government’s continuing support to tech entrepreneurs and startups by providing exposure, recognition, and guidance.
Speaking about the Summit, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, the MeitY Secretary, noted that AI has emerged as a catalyst across industries and can play a transformative role in accelerating development. The summit will explore in-depth, the role of AI in accelerating social empowerment. RAISE 2020 has tracks like AI for health, agriculture, education, skilling, mobility, fintech, research, inclusive AI, the future of work, and responsible AI. The summit will serve as a platform for the meeting of some of the best minds in the world on AI.
Home to the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, elite science and technology institutions like the IITs, robust and ubiquitous digital infrastructure, and millions of newly-minted STEM graduates every year, India is well-positioned to become a global leader in the development of AI, the release claimed.
Industry analysts predict that AI could add up to US$ 957 billion to India’s economy by 2035. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, plans to leverage AI for inclusive development, representing the country’s ‘AI for All’ strategy. The country aims to stand out in the international community not just as a leader in AI but also as a model to show the world how to responsibly direct AI for social empowerment.
Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog, explained that from agriculture to fintech and healthcare to infrastructure, AI is a transformative force. India is uniquely positioned to become the AI laboratory of the world and contribute to inclusive development and growth through empowerment. The summit aims to help create a data-rich environment, which is a stepping stone to eventually transform lives globally.
In August, NITI Aayog, in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), launched the ATL AI Step-Up Module for students, which will drive AI education and innovation across the country. The initiative was launched after the AI project, ATL AI Modules by the Atal Innovation Mission.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the AI Step-up Module provides a comprehensive set of learn-it-yourself advanced modules to those who want to expand their knowledge base after becoming familiar with the basics of the AI technology.
Businesses, farmers and researchers in the Shoalhaven region will benefit from cutting-edge technology and research with the launch of a new industry hub in Nowra on 24 September 2020.
The Morrison Government has provided $2 million to establish the Nowra Agri-business Innovation Hub at the University of Wollongong’s Shoalhaven campus to connect the regional agri-business sector with the latest technologies and research.
The Senator for New South Wales stated that the launch of the hub would kick-start a new chapter of innovation and growth in the region.
The hub will ensure that local students, businesses and entrepreneurs can access the expertise, equipment and innovation that will help them succeed, she said. The Shoalhaven region has a strong history in agribusiness, manufacturing and defence industries, as well as a skilled labour force.
The research conducted in the university’s facilities will provide advice and technical assistance for those businesses to explore new technologies and drive growth.
The Minister for Education stated that the Government was committed to enhancing collaboration between universities, industry, businesses, government and the wider community.
The research done by Australia’s universities can lead to the development of new products and innovations that drive job growth, business opportunities and productivity gains, he said. As part of its Job-ready Graduates reforms, the Government is providing $900 million to establish the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund to fund partnerships between universities and industry.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong stated that the hub will provide the community with access to tools and support to create a thriving economic future. The University has always served its communities and this was recently demonstrated in the assistance it provided to students and businesses across the South Coast and Southern Highlands throughout Australia’s bushfire crisis and the pandemic, he remarked.
The university is determined to continue to value-add to local communities economically, environmentally, socially and culturally by investing in research and innovation.
“So, it is fitting to be partnering with the Australian Government to officially open this Industry 4.0 Hub at a time when Australia’s economic recovery is based on our success at growing new businesses, creating jobs, and supporting existing businesses,” he concluded.
The hub is expected to provide further details on research engagement and translation in the first half of 2021.
Applying digital transformation to the agriculture sector is paramount. Invest NSW notes that agricultural technology (Agtech), is predicted to become Australia’s next $100 billion industry by 2030. The sector is fast becoming a vital part of the NSW economy and a growing source of both income and investment.
Thriving agtech clusters, world-class life sciences institutions and high-quality produce, make NSW the ideal environment for agribusiness innovation.
A rising middle class, especially in the Asia Pacific, is moving from a simple diet to one that’s much higher in the kind of agriculturally-intensive foods in which Australia and NSW specialise. At the same time, demand for locally-grown sustainable food is growing in the domestic market.
Global warming and diminishing natural resources present obstacles to meeting this changing demand. So too does the rising cost of energy, labour, fertiliser, seeds and herbicides. These challenges have created a perfect environment for Agtech to grow.
NSW is at the forefront of using technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to increase agricultural productivity. However, agtech isn’t just changing the face of farming; it’s helping save farming land. Technological advances ensure we can produce, supply and store food sustainably.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority – IMDA implemented Singapore’s nationwide e-invoicing network, now called InvoiceNow, in 2019 to help businesses improve efficiency, reduce cost, receive payment faster, facilitate cross-border business transactions, and reduce our impact on the environment by using lesser paper invoices.
To help even more businesses digitalise, IMDA has partnered DBS, OCBC and UOB to develop solutions, leveraging the nationwide e-invoicing network, InvoiceNow, with the PayNow e-payment system.
InvoiceNow and PayNow both uses the Unique Entity Number to help businesses send or receive invoices and collect payments easily. By registering for both services, business can then enjoy business efficiency, cost reduction and seamless payments.
Ms Jane Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, IMDA, said: “Within the past three months, we have seen an exponential increase in businesses coming onboard e-invoicing. Today, there are about 25,000 companies on InvoiceNow, up from 1,000 at the beginning of the year.”
“Our aim is to drive further adoption to benefit more businesses, as IMDA leads Singapore’s digital transformation in this sector. We are excited to partner with DBS, OCBC and UOB, to co-create innovative solutions to strengthen for businesses that will fortify Singapore’s competitiveness in the global digital economy.”
Moving Towards a Unified e- Payments and Cashless Society
Mr John Laurens, Group Head of Global Transaction Services, DBS Bank, said, “Driving interoperability of our digital solutions is key to unlocking Singapore’s Smart Nation ambition, and this is where the integration of InvoiceNow with PayNow shows great potential as it dovetails with the nation’s push towards a unified e-payments system and cashless society.”
Digitalisation has become priority since Pandemic
Mr Melvyn Low, Head, Global Transaction Banking, OCBC Bank, said, “Before the pandemic, there might have been SMEs who put digitalisation on the backburner but now, there is no question that going digital is a necessity. InvoiceNow and PayNow in particular, are two initiatives that have seen strong take up from our business banking customers.”
E-invoicing – making payments quicker and businesses more efficient
Mr Mervyn Koh, Country Head of Business Banking Singapore, UOB, said, “Since the launch of the nationwide e-invoicing framework, we have been helping our customers realise the tangible benefits that e-invoicing can bring to their business, including greater cash flow certainty. With the expansion of the PayNow model to cover payments for e-invoices under InvoiceNow, businesses will be able to receive payments more quickly and thus, shorten the time taken from invoicing to receiving payment.”
Businesses that register for InvoiceNow on or before 31 December 2020 can receive an E-Invoicing Registration Grant of $200, which will be paid out through PayNow Corporate. The grant was announced in March 2020 as part of the Resilience Budget and $10 million has been set aside for the Grant.
Missions With Monty is a quest game developed at North Carolina State University that uses Monty the Monitor Lizard to guide students through complex climate problems. The game will be adapted to Australian conditions thanks to a University Global Partnerships Network (UGPN) grant that allows a partnership with institutions around the world to develop solutions to a universal issue.
The project leader, Associate Professor Sarah Howard, said the game was aimed at primary school students in Years 5 and 6. Students may be given a challenge such as why a population of frogs has migrated away from a pond, she said.
They may have to learn about the frog, its environment, what’s happened to the pond’s catchment and what’s happened to the weather. With the help of Monty, they encounter scientists, points of data and other animals to investigate the issue.
The funding would adapt the game to Australian conditions, such as drought and fire, and with Australian animals. With the help of researchers from the SMART Infrastructure Facility, new ways of capturing data from the game would be developed, giving teachers valuable insights into the ways that their students learned.
Finally, new ways would be developed to allow international collaboration among students, building on the existing framework for collaboration within the classroom. The interdisciplinary nature of the project – educational psychology, educational technology, computer science, science education, and design – provides the potential for increased faculty collaboration across institutions.
This process has the potential to provide a model for data collection and international teacher and student multi-national collaboration that could then be extended to any educational context. The UGPN aims to develop sustainable world-class research, education and knowledge transfer through an active international network of selected Universities collaborating in research, learning and teaching to benefit global society.
The program will develop a range of jointly enabled innovative solutions to world problems based on shared research expertise and a mobility strategy for increasing the number of faculty, staff and students with international experience. The UGPN annual conference will be held in Wollongong next year.
The need for education around climate change in Australia is pertinent. The global economic and environmental impact of wildfires is likely to worsen as a result of human-induced climate change and land-use patterns, according to a team of international fire researchers.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Reviews: Earth & Environment, researchers describe global and regional trends in fire activity and project what is expected to come down the pipeline in the future. The interaction between climate, vegetation and fire occurrence has led to distinct fire regimes, which are characterised by their frequency, seasonality, geographic scale and pattern, and environmental effects.
Past climate change is known to have influenced the extent, frequency and intensity of landscape fires by affecting vegetation patterns, fuel abundance and drought. Currently, human-induced climate change is altering rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures, resulting in more frequent extreme fire events.
Extremely intense fires can trigger the development of pyrocumulonimbus storms, which are powerful convective thunderstorms that can reach the stratosphere and create localised weather, including rain, hail, lightning and pyro-tornadoes.
In Australia, the difficulties in separating the influences of climate change from the effects of stopping traditional Aboriginal fire management practices following European colonisation in the early 19th century.
However, the effects of climate change are evident in the increasing number of extreme fire events – including the Black Summer fires of 2019-20 during which 35 pyrocumulonimbus storms were recorded, doubling the known records of these extreme events. This spike in fire intensity and severity has also been recorded at various other locations around the world, including Chile, Canada, Portugal and California.
Development of these fire management interventions requires transdisciplinary research that combines insights from natural and social sciences, engineering and technology, and humanities. Such research is also prerequisite for improving global and regional fire models of future fire activity.