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Agricultural policy can reduce wildfires

Francisco Moreira, Guy Pe'er



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[...] Agriculture is an important driver of European wildfires. It is a major source of fire ignitions [...]. Additionally, farmland abandonment and policies promoting forestry increase fire hazard, as they lead to vegetation growth and fuel build-up in the landscape [...]. However, agriculture is also part of the solution. Agricultural areas, such as crops, orchards, and grasslands, are much less fire-prone, particularly if they include irrigated crops [...]. The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a powerful financial instrument that can contribute to sustainable environmental management and climate change adaptation. [...]
Megafires are mostly driven by weather conditions [...], and with climate change we should anticipate an increase in their frequency and impact, especially in southern Europe [...]. The current strong investment in fire suppression, in a context of farmland abandonment, results in increased fuel loads and potential for larger future fires [...]. The European agricultural policy should instead balance fire suppression with nature-based solutions. Multifunctional, fire-resilient, mosaic landscapes can maintain both natural and cultural assets and serve to reduce fire intensity and damage when burned. [...]


Science, Vol. 359, No. 6379. (01 March 2018), pp. 1001.1-1001, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aat1359 
Key: INRMM:14542958

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