EU lawmakers want better prevention against forest fires

By Hugo Struna, translated by Daniel Eck
September 12, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: International

After a destructive summer in southern Europe, EU lawmakers and experts are asking the European Commission to increase forest fire prevention as current measures are proving inadequate. At a meeting, organised by the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) Committee, MEPs also called for more resources at the EU level to fight wildfires, despite the Commission’s announcement this summer that it would expand its fleet of Canadair aircraft. …But in addition to fire-fighting resources, efforts need to focus more on prevention …“90% of the EU budget is spent on fighting fires, while only 10% is spent on prevention. This has to change,” said German MEP Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg. …French law requires landowners to clear their forests of undergrowth and gives local authorities the right to pre-empt land if it is not managed correctly… and increases penalties for arsonists and bans smoking in and within 200 metres of forests.

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