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Title: Deliverable D.7.1-1-2 Assessment document on the main strengths and weaknesses of the legislation and policy instruments concerning integrated wildland fire management in the EU, in European Member States and in North African countries
Subject: [Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Themes, Prescribed burning][Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Themes, Wildfire initiation][Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Themes, Wildfire propagation][Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Themes, Suppression fire][Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Domains and Specialities, Development, Policies and practices assessment][Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, legislation][Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, policy][FIRE PARADOX Deliverables, Fire Paradox Modules, Module 7 - Policies and practices assessment, WP7.1 - Complete review of policies and practices at the European and national scale with special emphasis on prescribed burning and suppression fire]
Description: Wildfires are one of the main risks affecting European forests, particularly in the Mediterranean countries. Socio-economic changes, some forest management actions and other policy measures outside the forest sector (i.e. environmental and nature protection policies) have generally influenced the flammability of ecosystems and increased the risk of large wildfires. Policy and legislation have great relevance in fire management in order to face the new realities that are bringing about fundamental changes within the forest sector. This document is the second step in the analysis process of the existing European and national legislation and policy instruments with reference to wildland fires. The first step was the compilation and classification of the related documents. This document presents the assessment of the main strengths and weaknesses of the legislation and policy outputs in order to consider their contributions to integrated wildland fire management. The assessment is based on the information obtained through a questionnaire sent to the national representatives of the Expert Group on Forest Fires (a group linked to the European Forest Fire Information System, EFFIS, established by the Joint Research Centre, JRC, of the European Commission), national fire technicians and other relevant databases with information about wildfires and national forest policies. The territorial scope covers the European Union including its 27 Member States and a representation of the North African countries through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. However, not all the EU-countries are included in the present document due to the lack of official information. The scales considered for the analysis are the European Union context and the national level. The assessment of the wildfire related legislation and policy instruments has tried to address, considering not only the sometimes limited information available but also, and most important, the general descriptive and self-complementary tone of the primary material analyzed, the following issues: (1) Are existing legislation and policies adapted to the specific national contexts? (2) Are policies and legislations implemented and enforced correctly? (3) Are national policies iterative and participatory processes? Is the legal framework open to revision and dynamic? (4) Which are the major fire-related issues considered in order to achieve Integrated Wildland Fire Management? (5) Is there effective cross-sectoral coordination among the different organizations working on wildland fires? (6) The responsibility for reducing the likelihood and consequence of wildfires is appropriately shared between the public administration and private land owners/managers. As a result of the analysis of the existing wildland fire legal and policy instruments the following strengths and weakness have been identified: (1) There are shortcomings in national regulations that need to be sorted out in order to provide a useful, self-contained and common wildfire legal framework for the Member States. This statement is especially evident as regards prescribed fire and suppression fire regulations. (2) Even though the European legislation has contributed to homogenize national legal frameworks, there are still important differences among countries. The comprehensiveness and scope of national regulations is above all different if Mediterranean countries (including France and Bulgaria, which share similar problems) are compared with other European countries. (3) Most forestry-related documents hardly ever mention wildfire management. In fact, there are some countries that do not have a specific policy for wildland fires yet, but some progress is to be noticed in all countries as wildfires are becoming a growing problem. (4) The diverse risk severity of wildfires in the national contexts and the different political and administrative systems existing in each country justify to some extent the differing scope of each country's national legal and policy instruments. Besides, the vagueness of the concept of sustainable forest management allows for the introduction of taylored practices in different contexts, let alone the reference to the diverse environmental circumstances in Europe that many that EU documents have incorporated. (5)Lack of an effective coordination among the different units dealing with wildland fires is clearly a weak point. Further, problems of coordination are aggravated by the fact that many countries have federal systems (multilevel governance frequently leads to time-consuming processes and sub-optimal results) or are undergoing decentralization trends. (6) Regarding community-based cooperation, organized groups of local stakeholders are emerging especially in Mediterranean countries. These groups contribute to fire management as a result of instrumental motivation, or self-interest. Furthermore, some common ecological and socio-economical patterns have been recognised at the regional level, which will be used to provide recommendations for the future and to set the basis for a new legislation and policy measures relative to integrated wildland fire management, adapted to each territorial context.
Language: English
Creator: Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM-GIPSF)
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Audience: public
Download: Deliverable D.7.1-1-2 Assessment document on the main strengths and weaknesses of the legislation and policy instruments concerning integrated wildland fire management in the EU, in European Member States and in North African countries