Presentation on theme: "Forest fires: global challenge, local solutions"— Presentation transcript:
1 Forest fires: global challenge, local solutions Every year, forest fires release million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions and thus to climate change.Paulo Mateus (National Director)National Forest Authority - Portugal
2 OVERVIEW 1. FOREST FIRES IN THE GLOBAL CONTEXT 1.1 Global Fire Geography1.2 Wild fires in Portugal2. CAUSES OF WILD FIRES2.1 Anthropogenic causes2.2 Causes behind causes2.3 Starting point conditions3. THE PORTUGUESE RESPONSE: National and local solutions3.1 National Fire Plan and the Portuguese National Forest Strategy3.2 National System for forest fire prevention and suppression3.3 Structural Prevention4. GUIDELINES FOR AN EUROPEAN RESPONSE
3 1. FOREST FIRES IN THE GLOBAL CONTEXT 1.1 Global Fire GeographyNASA satellites – MODIS hot spots (Summer 2005)“Forest fires are increasing as a result of climate change, and they are affecting larger areas and becoming more severe in several regions of the world” (FAO, ).
4 FAO (2007) – fire management global assessment 2006: 1. FOREST FIRES IN THE GLOBAL CONTEXT1.3 Wild fires in PortugalFAO (2007) – fire management global assessment 2006:“ Fire is the main cause of forest destruction in the countries of the Mediterranean basin. About fires sweep through to 1 million hectares each year”Last 10 years average: haPortugal, 3 August 2003ShrubsForest standNASA - MODIS Rapid response system
5 2. CAUSES OF WILD FIRES2.1 Anthropogenic causesPortugal, 2008Pasture renewal and agricultural burnings are the most important fire causes in Portugal
6 2. CAUSES OF WILD FIRES2.2 Causes behind the causesThe breakdown of the steady state :Lack of forest management due to rural exodus and agricultural set-a-side;Lack of citizens response in managing and preventing firesInappropriate forest land use planning and lack of investment on fuel management programs;Extreme weather conditions;According to the European Parliament report (Fev.2008)“Forest fires: causes and contributing factors in Europe”
7 People are humble to follow the best examples around the world 2. CAUSES OF WILD FIRES2.3 Starting point conditionsMore than the announcement of new reforms, you have to persuade the community of assure conditions to improve changes in a long term periodShrubsForest standMagicmomentBe aware of paradox:As time goes by after a disaster increases the probability of a new disaster.As time goes by after a disaster decreases the goodwill to avoid new disaster.People are humble to follow the best examples around the worldPoliticians goodwill is very high after such a disasterTechnicians are devoted to improve knowledge in fire behavior
8 2003-2006 forest sector structural reform 3. THE PORTUGUESE RESPONSE : National and local solutionsforest sector structural reformReorganisation of the public forest service and theforest fire fighting systemDifferent forest planning and management methods(e.g. National Forest Strategy; Regional Forest Management Plans; Forest Intervention Zones,for regions with small private holdings)Innovative financing models for the forest sector(Permanent Forest Fund, with money from car fuel taxes)New legislation on forest fire protection(new fire protection system, with National and municipal fire protection plansand a new set of goals and regulations)
9 - Responsibility of wild fire is shared by all community 3. THE PORTUGUESE RESPONSE: National and local solutions3.1 National Fire Plan and the Portuguese National Forest Strategy2006 – The effective start of long term changes based on 2 main paradigms:- Responsibility of wild fire is shared by all community- Fire in a part of the ecosystem, not a enemy but , many times, an allyNATIONAL FOREST STRATEGYThe mitigation of wild fires is identified as the main priority to achieve the sustainability of the forest sector in Portugal.Workshop “Forest Fires in the Mediterranean Region: Prevention and Regional Cooperation”
10 NATIONAL SYSTEM FOR FOREST FIRES PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION 3. THE PORTUGUESE RESPONSE: National and local solutions3.2 National System for forest fire prevention and suppressionNATIONAL SYSTEM FOR FOREST FIRES PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSIONTHREE MAIN COORDINATION RESPONSABLES: Forest services – structural preventionNational Guard – law enforcement and surveillance Civil protection services - fire suppressionNATIONAL FIRE PLANMID-TERM ACTION PLANNING (2006/2012)FIVE STRATEGIC AXES:1 – increase forest landscape resilience;2 – reduce the incidence of forest fires;3 – improve the efficiency of forest fire suppression;4 – promote the reestablishment of forest ecosystems;5 – adoption of the adequate structure.Workshop “Forest Fires in the Mediterranean Region: Prevention and Regional Cooperation”
11 1. municipal planning level 3. THE PORTUGUESE RESPONSE: National and local solutions3.3 structural prevention1. municipal planning level234 Municipal Plans on Forest Fire Defense246 municipalities forest offices(out of 278 municipalities)
12 2. awareness raising campaigns 3. THE PORTUGUESE RESPONSE: National and local solutions3.3 structural prevention2. awareness raising campaignsi. Common sloganPortugal without fires depends on everyoneii. Active participation of the society and private companiesiii. Awareness of specific target-groups
13 3. Strategic management of forest fuels 3. THE PORTUGUESE RESPONSE: National and local solutions3.3 structural prevention3. Strategic management of forest fuelsOver ha protected with fuel management activities each yearAverage of 1.600ha prescribed burns263 hand-crewsForest biomass for energyNetwork of new power stations(goal: 2 Mtons/year by 2012)Forest biomass for the localproduction of energypasturingprescribed fire
14 4. Training and knowledge 3. THE PORTUGUESE RESPONSE: National and local solutions3.3 structural preventionaction4. Training and knowledgeFire behaviour21 specialists in fire behaviour and in use of fire (prescribed or technical)120 foresters trained in prescribed burningknowledgetrainingMAIN GOAL: Develop the scientific and technical basis for the definition of new practices and polities of integrated fire management in Europe
15 FIVE remarks for discussion: 4. GUIDELINES FOR AN EUROPEAN RESPONSEFIVE remarks for discussion:1) Sustainable forests: Promotion of forest sustainability integrated in the Rural Development of European Regions;2) Public awareness: Establishment of a common European campaign for forest protection, specially for forest fires prevention;3) Community based programmes: Improvement of an European programme for community based actions on forest management, fires prevention, correct usage of fire (prescribed burns) and on houses protection;4) European directive: Preparation of a common scheme in regional forest planning, taking in consideration aspects like: climate change scenarios, forest protection, biodiversity and nature conservation and people fixation in rural areas.5) European regulation: Preparation of a European Regulation, for forest protection purposes, funded by eco-tax from the usage of fossil fuels.
16 Thank you for your attention! “Fire in the Mediterranean is an unavoidable cultural and ecological phenomenon, but an avoidable catastrophe” (Montiel) Workshop on Forest Fires in the Mediterranean Region: Prevention and Regional Cooperation (Sabaudia – Italy, May 2008)Thank you for your attention!