Role of bioeconomy in controlling forest fires
Join us in Madrid, Spain for the ThinkForest event on role of bioeconomy in controlling forest fires on 29 May, 2018!
Forest fires have become an increasingly important environmental and economic global challenge. At worst, they cause human and fauna disasters, forgone opportunities for livelihood, and play major role in global CO2 emissions. In southern Europe, the cumulative effects of global warming, fire-prone landscapes, changes in urbanisation patterns, as well as the lack of perceived value of forests for local populations, create the favourable conditions for catastrophic forest fires. The cost of fire mitigation and control amounts to several billion euros each year, as well as jeopardizes forest policy implementation in Southern Europe.
Currently, most of the forest fire funding, e.g. in the national budgets and EU CAP, is going to fire extinction, restoration and afforestation after fires have destroyed forests. However, in recent years science has advocated for a new vision to address the root causes of forest fires, and put forward long-term cost-effective strategies and measures. These include e.g. shifting the focus towards enhancing the resilience of forests to climate change and enhance resource management to reduce fuel loads in forests. This change can be supported by creating and enhancing the incomes and employment that forest can generate, such as through producing wood products and bioenergy, non-wood products, agroforestry and ecosystem services. In this context, the emerging forest-based bioeconomy, still not much developed in southern Europe, presents promising opportunities to reduce forest fire risk, or the scale of fire damages, while at the same time increasing the economic potential of forests.
This ThinkForest event helps to provide a better science-policy understanding of the problem of forest fires, as well as discusses the opportunities that forest bioeconomy and new policy incentives and measures, for example, under CAP, could offer.