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Protection of forests in the EU

The European Commission has adopted a proposal from Mr Franz Fischler, Commissioner responsible for agriculture and rural development, granting a total amount of ECU 13.4 million for projects to be carried out by the Member States in relation to the protection of forests again...
The European Commission has adopted a proposal from Mr Franz Fischler, Commissioner responsible for agriculture and rural development, granting a total amount of ECU 13.4 million for projects to be carried out by the Member States in relation to the protection of forests against atmospheric pollution and fire.

The Commission Decision concerns 18 projects (in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Finland and Sweden) relating to the protection of forests against atmospheric pollution and 107 projects (in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Portugal) relating to forest fire prevention. These actions are based on the Council of Ministers Regulations (EEC) No 3528/86 and 2158/92 which were both recently extended by the Council until the year 2001 under which all Member States can submit projects for co-funding.

The maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality has been recognized by the countries participating in the Pan-European process for the protection of forests as one of six criteria describing the different aspects of sustainable forest management on a conceptual level. The information activities are made available in the yearly report on the condition of forests in Europe, which will be published in September by the European Commission and the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations.

The objective of the European Union's scheme for the protection of forests against fire (Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92), which the Council adopted in July 1992, is to increase the consistency of measures to protect forests against fire in particular and of forestry measures in general, cofinanced by the EU in areas of fire risk.

The measures are undertaken by Member States in the context of national and regional plans for the protection of forests against fire. They include, in particular, studies on the causes of forest fires and prevention and vigilancy measures decreasing the forest fire risk. The coordination of the scheme by the European Commission also provides for the creation of a forest-fire information system to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the measures taken.

The EU schemes for the protection of forests are closely linked to other international activities in this field, in particular those undertaken in the context of the Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe (Strasbourg 1990; Helsinki 1993), the International Cooperative Programme on the Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (UN/ECE) and Sylva Mediterranea (FAO).
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