Forum for debate and proposals for action for the management of great wildfires in Spain

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On March 29 and 30, the “Forum for debate and proposals for action for the management of great wildfires in Spain” will be held in Madrid, promoted by the Foundation, to agree on a declaration that will be made public in June 2023, after a period of search for adhesions.

Context

The summer of 2022 confirmed what the forest fire community had been warning about: the wildfires of the future (already present) are more intense and with unprecedented ecological and social consequences. Examples of this are the wildfires that occurred in 2022 in Spain – Sierra de la Culebra (Zamora), the wave of fires in Navarra, or those of Bejís, Vall d’Ebo and Sierra Calderona in the Valencian Community -, but we can look for examples in previous years and in other countries that had already been warning of this change in trend – Australia (2009 and 2019), Portugal and Chile (2017) or Spain (2012).

We are facing a complex problem, which cannot be addressed with simple solutions and discourses based on beliefs and myths, nor from biased discourses. At the Pau Costa Foundation we believe that we must deal with this problem from experience, rigorously, and adopting decisions based on the facts and data provided by science, from a multidisciplinary vision.

This requires an effort to achieve broad consensus that provide integrating solutions that are accepted by broad sectors of society and the technical field. For this, we believe that it is necessary to open a space for broad and inclusive debate, open to professional and social visions that go beyond sectorial visions, to discuss on the most sustainable way of dealing with the problem of large forest fires in the medium long term.

With this objective, the Pau Costa Foundation has begun a reflective and debating process to reach a common position of the Forest Fire Community at the Spanish level. The Board of Trustees, the Advisory Council and the Executive Team of the Foundation have identified more than ninety members of the Forest Fire Community to participate in this space for debate in order to reach a consensual position.

“Forum for debate and proposals for action for the management of great wildfires in Spain”

This forum, in which 60 members will finally participate, will take place on March 29 and 30 in Madrid. During these two days, the participants will work on different thematic axes to guide the debate towards a common declaration, which, must later mark a roadmap with actions to follow to make the agreement effective. After after a period of search of expressions of support to the forum’s outcome, the result will be shared with society in a public presentation of the results in June 2023.

The participants in the forum come from 15 different autonomous communities, and from sectors such as research, public administration, private companies, NGOs, suppression, land management, and communication.

It will be an intense and complex process, but without a doubt enriching, which in many cases will mean moving away from the comfort zone to reach compromises. And in any case, it is a necessary and essential commitment to advance jointly towards the prevention and efficient management of large forest fires, which includes building a less vulnerable natural and human landscape and the protection of the cultural and natural values ​​of our ecosystems.

We hope that this process serves to delimit a path that is consensus-based and open to all contributions, during and after the process. In the end, it will be society, with its response, that will end up deciding on the definitive path to follow, in accordance or not with the approaches that this process generates.

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