Brandland no building land?

WWF calls for EU law to trick real estate sharks among the arsonists

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So far, tens of thousands of hectares of land have fallen victim to the devastating forest fires in Europe - 50, 000 of them in Greece alone. Cause for many of the fire: arson. Therefore, the WWF has now called for an EU law that prohibits building on burnt forest land. This could put a stop to real estate sharks among the arsonists, according to the environmental protection organization.


"We know that a large part of the forest fires are caused by arson. As soon as a forest has burned down, it is striking that land speculators are often interested in the area, which they could never have bought when the forest was still there, "said WWF expert Nina Griesshammer.

In many Mediterranean countries, the transformation into building land or agricultural land after forest fires is promoted or at least not prevented by politicians. Therefore, fire is increasingly being used as a tool to remove legal restrictions on the use of a piece of land. "An EU ban on Brandland would deprive the construction criminals of the soil and save thousands of hectares of forest, " said the WWF expert.

In Greece alone, so many hectares of forest have already been cleared of smoke, as in the whole of Europe in 2006. In Italy, where the government has declared a state of emergency because of forest fires, at least 9, 000 hectares have been burned, many of them in national parks, Many animals died or flee from the flames. The Italian government is primarily responsible for arson for the sea of ​​flames. display

Firefighters as arsonists?

In order to put an end to the annual forest fire plague, WWF calls for new laws and a reversal of forest management. "No plantations, no monotonous rows of trees, but living mixed forests with native tree and plant species - that's what we need, " says Griesshammer. Not only could the forests of Europe be protected from the fires, but at the same time they could protect them against the stress of climate change with its weather extremes such as drought and heat.

At the same time, the contribution of forest owners to the preservation of forests must be recognized. "At the moment, they are being charged with the cost of fire prevention, so it's not surprising that fire prevention is not the first fiddle, " criticizes the WWF expert. "If, instead, year-round fire precautions would be operated, could also be created jobs for those people who are hired as firefighters only temporary for the forest fire season." It is suspected that occasionally firefighters lay fires to get their jobs,

(WWF, 30.07.2007 - DLO)