Mediterranean forests under threat due to climate change
12 May 2008 | International news release
Conclusions of the international workshop entitled "Adaptation to Climate Change in Mediterranean Forest Conservation and Management", co-organized by WWF and IUCN in Athens, Greece, between April 14-17/04/2008
Rapid and abrupt land-use changes, mainly due to development pressures and urban sprawl, habitat fragmentation due to transport infrastructures, resource overexploitation and pollution, are few of the main factors impacting upon Mediterranean forests and driving their degradation. Once climate change is added upon those, accompanied by heat-waves, drought and overall temperature rises, the resilience and adaptation capacity of forests is exhausted.
The above is included among the many conclusions of the international workshop entitled "Adaptation to Climate Change in Mediterranean Forest Conservation and Management" and co-organized by WWF and IUCN in Athens, Greece, between April 14-17/04/2008.
Forests figure prominently among the most important ecosystems of the
Even though the lack of scientific data often hinders decision-making with regard to forest protection activities against climate change, the single most important barrier still remains the lack of political understanding of the problem and will to deal with it, states
The most vulnerable forest ecosystems in
Regarding the protection of Greek forests, an overall new forest protection approach is essential. This must be based in three fundamental axes: (i) forest management articulates at the landscape level, encompassing better coordination of services sharing competence, (ii) improvement in the role and capacity of the forest service and material support to applied forest research, and (iii) development of an integrated nature protection system through a network of functional protected areas, ensuring the conservation of the most valuable forest habitats.
In what regards fire-management and suppression policies, it is deemed essential to accentuate measures for the proper management of forests and the implementation of fire prevention measures. In the field of forest fire suppression, a culture of continuous training and development of know-how, the formation of modern, equipped and specialized forest fire-fighting units within the Fire Brigade and the effective co-ordination between forest services, scientific institutions and fire-fighting units is essential. It is worth mentioning that WWF Greece is completing an overall proposal regarding the necessary improvements to the forest protection system in
In the face of climate change, the forests of our country are becoming all the more vulnerable and important. Side-by-side with efforts to counter the root causes of climate change it is imperative that we take immediate measures to face this reality and conserve our forest wealth. WWF Greece consistently labours to this direction, states
Notes to editors:
Notes to editors:
The international workshop "Adaptation to Climate Change in Mediterranean Forest Conservation and Management" took place within the framework of WWF Greece program "Forests for the future», which constitutes an effort to counter the root cause of forest degradation in the country. The program commenced in January 2008 and is financially supported by the Institutions of I. Latsis, A. G. Leventis and Bodosakis, as well as by the organization’s individual supporters.
For more information:
Constantinos Liaricos, Conservation Director WWF Greece, 6982471720, firstname.lastname@example.org