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Tag: forest fires

Protecting your home from forest fires at zero cost: saving forests and money

The FireWise communities are an inspiring example of good practices applied in the Mediterranean context that help us defend ourselves against the consequences of forest fires. These practices are being documented by the ResAlliance project to promote knowledge exchange across the region.

When a house, a garden, or private land burns down, it is not just property that burns. What goes away are the daily lives of entire families and communities, which subsequently have to try to get back on their feet with great difficulty and after a long time. All this happens every time a forest fire breaks out.

The European project ResAlliance is collecting good practices to improve land resilience in the context of the Mediterranean basin, especially those necessary to deal with the consequences of climate change, such as prolonged periods of drought and forest fires. These include those related to the increase in the number and intensity of forest fires, which are increasingly frequent and intense and with whose risk we must learn to live with now, not ‘tomorrow’.

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Preventing megafires and land abandonment in the Mediterranean

The combination of climate change and land abandonment is creating the perfect conditions for forest megafires in the Mediterranean. Higher temperatures, erratic rainfall and longer droughts are becoming increasingly commonplace, as well as claims that megafires “are here to stay”. Still, not all hope is lost. Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) can help prevent fire disasters by reducing the amount of flammable biomass that accumulates in forests, among other adaptation measures.

The INFORMA project’s case study in the Segre-Rialb basin, Spain, is an example of an area that has suffered decades of continuous rural exodus and decurrent lack of forest management. There, the project will equip forest practitioners with insights on how to adapt to increased climate variability while ensuring the provision of important ecosystem services such as water quality and quantity, wood and non-wood forest products, recreation, and biodiversity conservation.

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Stakeholders’ perceptions on building resilient landscapes: launching the LandLab in Peloponnese

The first of the five LandLabs planned by the ResAlliance project across the Mediterranean was launched successfully on 28 September 2023, in the region of Peloponnese, Greece. The first activity was a workshop that was organised at the municipality of Chora, in the prefecture of Messinia, entitled “Creating resilient landscapes in the Mediterranean to address the impacts of climate change: Fires – Drought – Floods”.

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EFI hits the road – a “Busman’s Holiday” around British Columbia’s beleaguered forests

Anyone who works as a researcher with an environmental or forestry organisation like EFI will tell you that there’s no such thing as a “proper” holiday; indeed, sitting on the beach for 2 weeks sounds to me like the very epitome of sensory deprivation (and that’s even despite having a dodgy knee). By contrast, the idea of a road trip around British Columbia (BC) with my family this summer sounded like a veritable voyage of discovery. So, it was with enthusiasm (and a degree of trepidation) that we boarded a flight from Frankfurt bound for Vancouver with the aim of exploring parts of the Pacific NW in a campervan. Without a doubt, BC’s diverse forests would certainly influence a large part in our travel itinerary; both in positive and negative ways, as it turned out. There was much to learn on our journey. 

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Fuelling the Forest Fire Policy – From the groundwork to an international audience

It cannot be stressed enough: More than 100 participants from 22 countries gathered in the Polish forest to attend the SNEP (Association of Independent Firefighting…

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“We need segregation with integration, and integration with segregation”

An Interview with Natalia Lukina, Forest Ecology and Productivity Centre, Russian Academy of Science

Forests are among our planet’s most important human life-supporting ecosystems, and we have many expectations with regards to the ecosystem services they provide. But: How do major global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss affect forests globally, and what can forest governance and management do? How can we deal with rising and changing demands for forest products and ecosystem services due to global population and economic growth, and urbanization?   

In order to discuss these questions, the conference “Governing and managing forests for multiple ecosystem services” brought together policymakers, practitioners and academic researchers from different fields on 26-28 February in Bonn. During this event, EFI in collaboration with the documentary filmmaker Patrick Augenstein, interviewed, Natalia Lukina, Forest Ecology and Productivity Centre, Russian Academy of Science.

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Disaster Risk Management via app?

The European Commission’s Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre and the Directorate General for Research and Innovation have developed a platform, Gaps Explorer, that collects pre-analysed information on recent and ongoing Disaster Risk Management (DRM) projects and provides recommendations for actions to three groups: practitioners, policy makers and scientists.

The first pilot was developed on Forest Fires. This is a major hazard throughout Europe, producing large environmental and economic losses and having an impact on human lives. Effective forest fire management and decision-making requires science-based information. The analysis of the knowledge, methodologies and technologies produced in the last two decades opens up new perspectives for enhanced forest fire risk management in the face of climate change, social and cultural trends and growth dynamics.

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Springtime in flames

and Alexander Held

What had already been predicted in 2018, became true.

Spring is too warm and too dry, again. The year 2019 had a hot start: during the first four months, more areas have been burned than during the entire 2018 across Europe. The Joint Research Centre’s European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) of the EU Science Hub recorded 1233 fires corresponding to a burned area of more than 250 000 ha by the end of April. In comparison, there were 1192 fires burning 181 000 ha during the whole 2018.

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Fire management in Viking style – looking for solutions together

The North is getting hot! Last year with its uncommonly warm and dry spring and summer caused lot of problems to the forest and agricultural sector in the Nordic countries. In addition, Sweden suffered from extensive wildfires. Due to climate change, summers like 2018 might become the new normal. To address this, the Nordic Council of Ministers launched a project group  that is a collaboration between Nordic Agri Research (NKJ) and Nordic Forest Research (SNS). SNS held a workshop “Nordic forestry in times of extreme weather” in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 1st of March to discuss amongst the participants from the ministries and fire service, how Nordic collaboration could be strengthened to face the new challenges. Laura Nikinmaa from the European Forest Institute’s Resilience Programme was invited to be a guest speaker together with Marc Castellnou from the Pau Costa Foundation and Martin Vendelbo from the Danish Emergency Management Agency.

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Sparking firesmart policies in the EU – let's train together!

The European Commission recently published a report entitled: Forest Fires, Sparking firesmart policies in the EU.

Forest fires constitute a serious and increasing threat throughout Europe, particularly in Greece, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. Currently we are also observing more and more fires in the temperate zone of Central Europe. Despite a decreasing trend in the number of fires and areas burned, observed in some countries since the 1980s, larger and more damaging fires (i.e. ‘megafires’) are challenging the suppression capacities of many wildfire protection programmes across Europe.

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