WWF stands with victims' families of the devastating forest fire in Portugal
The arid and flammable nature of Mediterranean forests (which include Portugal), climate change, human neglect and, above all, the lack of adequate forest management that acts to prevent forest fires, form a lethal combination that threatens forests and the security of local populations.
WWF urges the Portuguese government to take urgent action to prevent forest fires and accelerate the process of "forest reform" that began last year. The focus of efforts should shift from combating forest fires as they arise to preventing them from existing, through responsible long-term forest management. Responsible forest management is more effective and financially more efficient than financing the giant firefighting mechanisms that are employed every year.
"We are extremelly sad and shocked by this unprecedented tragedy in terms of human victims. We strongly believe that good management practices should prevent forest fires and protect people's lives and livelihoods, "said Rui Barreira from WWF in Portugal.
"The tragedy we are living today in Portugal could happen tomorrow in any country of the Mediterranean region, as well as the world. WWF is calling all Mediterranean governments to engage in better fire prevention strategies yet this summer." added Paolo Lombardi, WWF Mediterranean Director.
For more information, please contact: Anne Rémy, WWF Mediterranean Director of Communications
Mob. + 39 338 66 06 287 - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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