This is the “vaccine” against megafires proposed by forest engineers

this fires They’re sweeping Spain again this summer. Despite the efforts of those who fought to contain the damage, Spain has one of the most advanced systems and devotes significant resources to destruction, “A more balanced and comprehensive approach is needed, not just focused on prioritizing extinction”He pointed to the Official College of Forest Engineers (COIM), which argues that the best “vaccine” against megafires is to “improve forest management”.

Spanish forests have multiplied their extents by 2.5 times and by 3 over the last 80 years. biomass stocks in the last half century their use has stopped during this time.

difficult spanish orography, “massive decline” in traditional agriculture and large animal husbandry“Despite the large amount of money allocated by the OTP,” it has created a continuity of forest vegetation in mountainous areas, which “makes it more difficult to put out fires while also hindering firefighting in many cases. Waiting for the moment for firefighters to do with the necessary safety,” the engineers say.

The configuration of these new forest areas is usually over 10 tonnes of dead vegetation per hectare, thus exceeding technical extinction capacity, they stand out. For all these reasons, COIM proposes various actions.

Forest fire in Cantabria. European Press


More forest management

Only 300 million euros is allocated to forest management and only 100 million euros for forestry, compared with the 1,000 million euros allocated each year to extinguishing fires in Spain, in particular the procurement of aerial support vehicles to autonomous communities for fire suppression. “In this case It is necessary to consider forestry policy as a central element for regional cohesion. Reduce strong disparities between autonomous communities and in GDP per hectare of forest”, because there are communities that are 70 times more than others.

Betting on bioenergy

Given the strong biomass accumulation in forests and insufficient agricultural use, and uncertainty over the energy supply plaguing the European Union, “It seems reasonable to bet on all forms of bioenergyMeasures such as the promotion of heat grids and the priority use of biomass for thermal, dispersed and rural demand, including the reduction of VAT for the consumer to 10%, will be “sufficient” to achieve this goal, points out COIM.

Change legislation

Application of the environmental precautionary principle to renewable and living natural resources is often an obstacle to forest management because risks of not taking action. On the other hand, very restrictive regulations are applied in many places in rural areas that hinder desirable and harmless economic activities. Legislation should be changed, forest engineers should be specified.

Unloading of an Air Force seaplane ahead of an operation in La Mancha, Castilla. Orlando Martinez / COIM


Empower forest owners

Forest management requires: more agile and up-to-date structures including necessary digitization Y public-private cooperation in performances. Empower forest owners and the dire consequences are more effective than comprehensive protection by forest management. One of the main reasons for the abandonment of forests is small land ownership.. “It is necessary to seek agile and efficient solutions that allow us to achieve viable forest management with small plots,” COIM emphasizes.

Pay for environmental services

According to forest engineers, it is time to apply this principle.Whoever pollutes pays, whoever purifies is compensatedAs an option, it shows the provisions and articles of the Water Framework Directive, the Climate Change and Energy Transformation Law and the Forest Law. limitations always applicable and some incentives elusive behavior is one of the biggest collective inconsistencies that fires bring to light.”

Rescue extensive farm animals

Grazing on wooded or scrub forest lands should be considered in the CAP., they claim by applying differentiated marketing. Similarly, forest engineers are committed to sustaining crops on strategic lands such as: firewalls“They should receive differentiated treatment to encourage them in forest legislation”.

Surface calcined in the wildfire of the Sierra de la Culebra reserve. Brais Lorenzo / EFE


Educate the young population

Forest engineers acknowledge that achieving the forest management they propose would not be possible without it.educating the younger generation properly“, to teach them that felling trees “is the most obvious example of environmentally negative behavior and planting represents the most positive environmental action”. Likewise, they consider it necessary to remember the “great contribution” that each citizen can make by “consuming local forest and agricultural products”.

Increasing the bioeconomy

this use of wood and other forest products in sectors such as construction, packaging, textiles, chemicals or energy compared to sectors based on non-renewable raw materials indisputable in terms of sustainability They propose “replacing, for example, boilers in their buildings with biomass boilers” for Public Administrations to bet and lead the use of renewables. “Countries such as France have already determined that at least 50% of wood should be used as raw material for the promotion of residences and offices to the public,” they say.

Coordinate depopulation and forestry policies

“No one is aware of the strong regional overlap that exists between areas at risk of depopulation and the most forested areas,” forest engineers say. Like this, Forestry and depopulation policies require “strong interpenetration and coordination to achieve their goals,” in his view.It is of key importance that the measures be agreed upon between the competent Public Administrations through coordination mechanisms such as: The National Forestry Council, which should be key because of its representation.

Source: Informacion

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