Green Wave, the radio show produced by the Env.net team in TEMA Foundation is now sponsored by Env.net for the coming six months. June, 30 was the 6th broadcast of the series.
This week our guests for Green Wave were Dr. Hikmet Öztürk, Head of Forestry and Rural Development Department of TEMA, Ferhat Taze, Project Coordinator from the Forestry and Rural Development Department of TEMA, both experts on forestry. The topic for this week’s broadcast was about the forest wildfires that are occurring more frequently with the coming of the summer season.
Dr. Hikmet Öztürk talked about the natural and human induced causes of the forest wildfires and said that natural wildfires may occur due to thunders and other nature events, and they are occurring less frequently, due to increasing drought and high temperatures during the summer times. Hovewer, event though total number of natural causes constitute 10 percent of the all the fire cases, the total area burned during these natural fires are not very large, since thunders are usually followed by rain. Dr. Öztürk emphasized that more than 90 percent of the all wildfires are caused by human activities, especially due to the reckless behaviors by the recreational users. And the area burned due to these human induced fires is much larger.
After Dr. Öztürk, Ferhat Taze continued by explaining the real damage these wildfires are causing to the nature and ecosystem services. He said that the loss area due to wildfires cannot be perceived only as a bulk of trees standing together. The forest is bigger than the sum of individual trees and homes many other lifeforms – animals, insects, birds, microorganisms, plants, and so on. The wildfires are also destroying the habitat of many important species. Furthermore, wildfires have important negative effects on climate change, by destroying the precious carbon sinks and releasing carbon to the atmosphere. Mr. Taze added that the burnt land is more prone to the soil erosion as well. So, wildfires are also affecting priceless ecosystem services that the nature provides to humans.
Both experts then replied the questions about the rehabilitation and legal issues related to the burnt areas. They said that these areas are protected by the law and cannot be used for other purposes and activities such as tourism or buildings. However, we may see some illegal developments in some occasions. The experts warned the listeners to alert the local and national authorities if ever they witness some illegal activites in those areas.
The podcast of the broadcast in Turkish can be listened at the following link: click here