The end of the 2012 fire season leaves important forest ecosystems and agricultural lands destroyed by wildfires in Spain, Greece and Portugal.
Adding to the highly flammable nature of Mediterranean forests, the long-term absence of management and the economic crisis with the associated austerity policies combine in a deadly mix that threatens forests and livelihoods. Especially in Greece, the dramatic budgetary cuts have resulted in the significantly reduced operational capacity on the part of the forestry service and the Fire Brigade. In Spain, the dramatic economic consequences of the Valencia mega-fire were revealed in the official request submitted to the EU’s Solidarity Fund for economic assistance (see CrisisWatch 8).
In an international announcement, released in Athens, Brussels, Lisbon, Madrid, and Rome, WWF calls on Mediterranean governments and the European Union to undertake urgent action and specific measures for integrated forest conservation.
Source: WWF EPO