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Legislation and Policies

A review was carried out of existing legislation and policy instruments in place in European and North African countries and on the pan-European scale with reference to wildland, suppression and prescribed fires. The review was carried out within Module 7 (Policies and practices assessment) of the Fire Paradox project and provides a snapshot of the situation as it was during the project (2006-2010). The results of the review are made available in an interactive map on the Fire Intuition platform. Some of the links may become outdated - if you notice broken links please contact the fireintuition team (fireintuition@efi.int) with the details.

Interactive Map of legislation and policy instruments in Europe. In order to use the map, click the search button and then click on the country of interest.

The database upon which the map is based contains metadata about the legislation and policies and will provide access to available relevant national/regional information on wildfire legislation and specific regulations on the use of fire for the EU member states. It further lists the existing policy instruments in these countries with reference to wildland, suppression and prescribed fires. The main policy instruments in relation with wildfires are the National and Regional Forest Programmes and specific plans concerning defence and protection against wildfires.

Over the past fifteen years, catastrophic incidents have increased the awareness of policy-makers of wildland fires. Wildland fires in Portugal in 2003 and the wave of forest fires that devastated Galicia in northwestern Spain in the summer of 2006 are examples that initiated changes in wildfire policies. However, the adoption of political measures is often an ad hoc reaction to a situation that has already evolved, rather than proactive mitigation before the emergency arises.