Europe — The latest issue of FAO’s Silva Mediterranea focuses on the prevention of forest fires in the Mediterranean region in a changing climate.
The newsletter reports on a workshop, held in Rhodes, Greece, in May 2010, on the assessment of forest fire risks and innovative strategies for fire prevention. Recommendations from the workshop include: establishing a European Sustainable Fund for Forest Fire Prevention; enhancing awareness of forests in education programmes; and promoting the economic dimension of forests. The newsletter further highlights a presentation made at the Rhodes workshop on the methodology behind a study showing the extension of the forest fire risk in France in 2030 and 2050 related to climate change.
The publication also features a commentary on the public’s perceptions of forest fires and their causes, noting that abandoned grazing pastures, agriculture and forestry has increased fuel for forest fires, and calling for the use of economic arguments to value the benefits of such activities in their role in fuel management and fire prevention.