In this interview from EuroNews with forest and tree plantation wildfire expert Alexander Held of EFI, the European Forest Institute, some really sensible advice is offered concerning what needs to be done to help reduce the incidence and impacts of devastating wildfires such as were recently experienced in many parts of southern Europe, in parts of the southern Cape region of South Africa, California, Colorado, Chile, Canada, etc.

His main recommendation is for a different approach to land management. This must include reducing fuel load (trees planted or that have invaded into the wrong places including deadwood) and establishing effective firebreaks. Such pro-active preventative measures will be far more effective, and much less expensive than using specialized aircraft and other expensive fire-fighting equipment to try to stop the spread of wildfires, when it is already too late to prevent the damage.

He also emphasizes the need for a different “resilient” forest model that uses the “continuous cover” approach instead of clear-cut logging.

We hope that the ‘experts’ at the FAO and the UNFCCC who have encouraged the expansion of drought-inducing tree plantations into regions where they are not needed, will listen to this advice.

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