The recent interview of Ana Riera, our Executive Director, with Onda Cero Mallorca, touched upon significant issues concerning forest management and fire prevention in our island. As per IBANAT records, by 15 August this year, over 19 hectares in Mallorca have been affected by 74 separate fires.
Forest management encompasses practices tailored to maintain wooded and forested areas, vital for both biodiversity preservation and fire risk reduction. Given the current global climate change trajectory – characterized by intense heatwaves, droughts, and sporadic thunderstorms – the significance of such practices has surged.
It’s heartening that, in spite of the climate change challenges, the fire scenario in the Balearic Islands hasn’t worsened recently. This positive development can be partly attributed to preventive measures taken post the Andratx fire about ten years ago. Persistent endeavors by environmental officials and the government’s forest management service have been instrumental in averting major wildfires.
Factors exacerbating fire risks include dense tree populations and a decline in wooded regions, stemming from agricultural land loss and the undervalued economic significance of wood. Pioneering projects like “AMARAR” have come forward, emphasizing the use of wood in building and furniture production, thus providing remedies that transcend just prevention.
Similarly, pastoralism is spotlighted as a vital component in forest management. The pressing demand to tailor forests to climate change challenges is underscored. A notable instance is the Son Torrella forest management initiative, wherein they’re engaged in clearing and thinning the present pine tree cluster while also planting holm oaks. Such actions not only help in fire deterrence but also champion biodiversity restoration in those locales.
To sum up, forest management is indispensable in fire prevention, conserving biodiversity, and adapting woodlands to the climate change implications. Every stakeholder, from administrative entities to the general public, bears the onus to safeguard our forested zones and thwart potential calamities that could jeopardize them.