Safe and resilient forests: Commission works for wildfire prevention in Europe and globally
Yesterday, following the International Day of Forests, the Commission 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.
Forests are necessary for biodiversity, climate and water regulation, the provision of food, medicines and materials, carbon sequestration and storage, soil stabilisation and the purification of air and water. We have to protect, restore and manage forests sustainably, as they are crucial for our lives and livelihoods.
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 to 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. Climate change is already damaging Europe's forests directly and indirectly through fires, droughts and unprecedented bark beetle outbreaks. Such impacts are likely to increase in the future.
Wildfire risks can be successfully addressed through better management and land-use planning. Mitigating wildfire risks requires looking at land management to ensure that the structure, composition and use of forests, woodland and other vegetation landscapes are more resistant and resilient against wildfires. Citizens also need to be informed and educated about wildfires. The Commission provides funding for such education actions and facilitates cooperation and the coordination of joint responses.
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.
Latest News from
Council agrees on emergency measures to reduce energy prices03/10/2022 16:33:00
EU energy ministers recently (30 September 2022) reached a political agreement on a proposal for a Council Regulation to address high energy prices.
Guidelines on general visa issuance in relation to Russian applicants and controls of Russian citizens at the external borders03/10/2022 15:25:00
The Commission recently (30 September 2022) presented updated guidelines to Member States on visa procedures as well as on border controls for Russian citizens at the EU's external borders.
Message of President Charles Michel on Russia's illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions03/10/2022 14:33:00
Message of President Charles Michel on Russia's illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions (30 September 2022).
Ethiopia: Statement by Commissioner Lenarčič on the humanitarian situation and International Humanitarian Law in northern Ethiopia03/10/2022 13:25:00
Ethiopia: Statement given recently (30 September 2022) by Commissioner Lenarčič on the humanitarian situation and International Humanitarian Law in northern Ethiopia.
Antitrust: Commission upgrades eLeniency tool to grant companies online access to leniency and settlement documents03/10/2022 12:10:00
The European Commission has upgraded its online platform “eLeniency” to ensure that companies who are parties to cartel and antitrust proceedings can easily and securely access documents online.
State aid: Commission approves aid to support the resolution of the Polish Getin Noble Bank S.A.03/10/2022 11:33:00
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, several support measures in the context of the resolution of the Polish Getin Noble Bank S.A.
Council and Parliament reach provisional political agreement on access to Union waters, extending the current rules for fishermen for another ten years30/09/2022 15:25:00
The Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement as regards the regime for access of fishing vessels to member states’ territorial waters.
Ensuring radiation protection: Commission refers LATVIA to Court to guarantee citizens' protection from ionising radiation-exposure risks30/09/2022 14:33:00
The Commission is taking legal steps to ensure the protection of citizens, workers and patients against the dangers arising from exposure to ionizing radiation.
Investor citizenship scheme: Commission refers MALTA to the Court of Justice30/09/2022 13:25:00
The European Commission yesterday decided to refer Malta to the Court of Justice of the European Union for its investor citizenship scheme, also referred to as the ‘golden passports'.
Human rights: EU increases support to the protection of human rights defenders worldwide30/09/2022 12:38:00
Human rights are increasingly under threat worldwide. Against this global backdrop, reconfirming the European Union's strong support to human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy, and their defenders worldwide, Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen yesterday signed €30 million, a substantial increase, for the new phase of the EU Human Rights Defenders Mechanism, in the presence of civil society organisations and human rights defenders, for the period 2022–2027.