The response to the risk of devastating fires does not involve investing in more firefighting resources, having more airplanes or more artificial intelligence tools; The most effective and urgent measure is the management of the territory to prevent it from burning completely, warned yesterday Marc Castellnou, head of the Grup d’Actuació Forestal de la Generalitat (GRAF), at the conference  Fires and forest management: challenges and solutions, organized by the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation. To advance this objective, it is necessary to update regulations that now jeopardize actions in the forest, in addition to giving prestige to the work of the essential actors in this challenge, farmers, shepherds and loggers.

“We need to mature as a state, to have legislation that is at the level of the problems, what we have now weighs everything down,” Castellnou stressed. “We have urban planning regulations that are out of time, we find areas where because they cannot make access or be able to mechanize them, they are abandoned; Mechanizing determines being able or not being able to do forest management,” warned Ricard Farriol, from the Center de la Propietat Forestal. Farriol put on the table the difficulties that arise when someone tries to recover agricultural spaces taken over by the forest.

These obstacles are especially serious if we take into account that to prevent large fires it is vital to move towards very diverse landscapes, in which the forest is interspersed with agricultural fields, with olive trees, vineyards, cereals, fruit trees, orchards, pastures… In this way we can hope that the flames lose their virulence and do not destroy everything. And this also involves local consumption, a choice that means betting on the survival of the producers who maintain the essential mosaic landscape.

Vicente Guallart, co-founder of the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), regrets that “they try to apply the same rules from the urban world to the rural world” and that “there are many political speeches and few actions; “Decisions must be made before catastrophes happen.” In this sense, he advocated promoting the use of local resources, wood from nearby forests, and recalled that if concrete were a country, it would be the third in the world in CO2 emissions.

Miriam Piqué, from the Forest Science and Technology Center, summarized the collective feeling in the rush to “dignify forestry work, and also agriculture, to be aware of the important values ​​that the forest provides, of CO2 fixation, of well-being… .”. And she warned that “these latest rains should not dazzle us.” The drought is still here.