WWF is shocked by the tragic loss of life and nature in Greece. Extraordinary weather conditions (high temperatures and wind gusts reaching 100km/hr), badly managed forests and deficiencies in the civil protection systems all contributed to this tragic event. As climate change renders forests more valuable, but also more vulnerable to fire, it is now becoming dramatically clear that housing agglomerations in forests and woodlands run increasing risk from fire.

Sadly, we have not learned from other catastrophic wildfires. Forests need to be well managed, in order to become less prone to wildfires. It is now more urgent than ever to manage the flammable Mediterranean forests with emphasis on fire prevention, rather than suppression, which is much more costly and significantly riskier for human lives. This deadly wildfire crisis reveals a new reality: civil protection, urban planning and nature conservation systems must adapt to exceptional climatic conditions, in order to avoid loss of life and nature.

Our thoughts are with the families of those lost in the fire. We are grateful to all those volunteers and professional firefighters, who put their own lives on the line to save people and nature.

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