Safe and resilient forests: Commission works for wildfire prevention in Europe and globally
On 22 March, following the International Day of Forests, the Commission has published new guidelines to facilitate a better understanding of land-based wildfire prevention and effective responses. They point towards prevention measures that can be taken through governance, planning and forest management, and outline how EU Member States can access EU funding for wildfire resilience and work together at EU level. In recent years, the impact of wildfires on people and nature has increased. The new guidance looks at interconnected factors behind this increase, and provides an overview of existing principles and experiences on managing landscapes, forests and woodlands that can save lives. The European Green Deal announced a new EU Forest Strategy for 2021 to ensure effective afforestation, and forest preservation and restoration in Europe. This will help to reduce the incidence and extent of wildfires. The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 also aims to contribute to the EU and its Member States being adequately equipped to prevent and respond to major wildfires, which seriously damage forest biodiversity. The new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change puts emphasis on the need to strengthen the resilience of forests and includes several actions to support this objective. In addition, the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed country profiles under the Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS) to support wildfire management and disaster risk reduction globally and in particular in Latin America and the Caribbean. This work is part of the EU's comprehensive approach to support conservation and sustainable development of Amazon forests. There are at present more than 50 EU programmes on this regional priority, and the new budget for global Europe will also cover a specific Amazon strategy, coordinated with EU Member States.
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