Geographia Polonica (2001) vol. 74, iss. 1

Unsustainable forestry causes forest fires. A case study from Galicia (North-West Spain)

Thomas Held, Kathrin Montero Küpper

Geographia Polonica (2001) vol. 74, iss. 1, pp. 65-76 | Full text

Galicia's forestry holds a special position within Spain due to the relatively great cover of woodlands and an increasing concentration on fast-growing tree species, i.e. eucalyptus trees. Its earning capacity is rather low because of a lack of industrial potential. Development funds allocated by the EU and altered by national and regional legislatures do not improve the disadvantagous structure of Galician forestry and its economically and ecologically poor situation. The high incidence of forest fires is a result of a misguided forestry policy and structural problems. The especially-formed fire brigades are only of short-term assistance. In future, long-term support can be expected via EU-funded eductional campaigns and structural reforms.

Keywords: Spain, Galicia, forestry, forestry policy, EU structural policy, eucalyptus trees, forest fire