In Europe, fires burn over 500,000 hectares of forest annually, and scientists estimate that during the 21st century, the number and extent of wildfires will increase due to climate change. This figure is significant when acknowledging that natural forest disturbances such as wildfires account for approximately 30% more greenhouse gasses (GHG) than fossil fuels. One of the root causes of wildfires is inadequate land management practices, including accumulation of dry biomass, burning of farmland waste and landscape simplification for industrial agriculture.
The MediterRE3 project aims to restore forest landscapes with fire-smart solutions, thus promoting the reduction of fire-related GHG emissions. The project team addresses local and national decision-makers, policymakers and practitioners involved in landscape management and fire prevention in three natural and national parks in France, Greece and Montenegro. As an output, Landscape Action Plans (LAPs) will be produced for the three target areas that, among others, will revolve around identifying the most urgently needed landscape management and restoration measures and a fundraising plan to implement them.
As part of this activity, it is paramount to improve good governance in these areas and identify funding sources and mechanisms that guarantee the long-term sustainability of these measures.
Etifor will provide the conceptual foundations for governance in forest-protected areas as those considered in the MediterRE3 project. In addition, it is intended to delve into the financing aspect, identifying several mechanisms (traditional and innovative) to make these measures and plans economically viable in the long run. This will increase the capacity to ensure adequate long-term support to address land degradation and climate change in the target areas.
It will do so by:
- The analysis of governance and funding opportunities for landscape management and restoration measures in the three target countries and the production of a technical report on this;
- The validation with the project partners of the identified funding sources;
- The communication of the main results of the analysis to the project partners through participation in project events.
Photo credit: David Tatin