Forest fires and the lack of interest from the State

Forest fires and the lack of interest from the State

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By José Carlos Díaz Zanelli

Although the fire had been burning for two weeks, only yesterday the alarms went off. The devastating fire that still takes place in the central jungle and that could involve up to 20 thousand hectares of forest, has revealed one of the structural shortcomings of the country: a good detection and control system against forest fires.

Forest fires are one of the greatest dangers for forests in the interior of the country. What has been happening in the Junín region this week is only a consequence of the lack of prevention policies on the part of two sectors: Environment and Agriculture.

A clear example of this situation is what is experienced in Cusco, where at the beginning of the year the representative of the Regional Technical Group against Climate Change, Edwin Mansilla Ucañani, denounced that in his region they should use satellite images from the Ministry of the Environment of Brazil in order to detect and attend to the more than 600 sources of fire that occur each year in the Cusco forests.

Lack of government support

The lack of public policies and investment for the detection and alleviation of forest fires is a lack of the last steps. In this sense, the current administration could see some international experiences.

A fairly close one is the case of Chile, where the Ministry of Agriculture has an attached body that is responsible for dealing with fires in the different regions. For this task it has up to five methods to detect the sources of fire, including the use of two satellites.

Another international experience that could serve as a reference is that of Spain, one of the European countries with the highest incidence in its forests.

In this country there is the Integrated Forest Fire Management System that manages all the Spanish forest cartography with satellites and detects every day each source of fire that takes place.

According to the Fiscal Budget project for 2017 sent by the Government to Congress, a request is S /. 1,589 million soles for the sector and just S /. 56 million for the fire prevention and attention section.

After what happened in Junín this week, it would be a good gesture of the current management to increase investment in matters such as the detection and attention of forest fires.

Fact: According to a measurement by Foster Brown, a researcher at the Woods Hole Research Center and the Federal University of Acre (Brazil), one of the most sensitive areas is the Tambopata National Reserve (Madre de Dios) where in recent years there have been an increase in fire sources of up to 30 times.

Increase in fire sources in Peru.


Video: Several wildfires burning across Colorado Friday (July 2022).


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