Forest management to be debated on the informal EU Environment and Energy ministerial meeting in Valladolid

  • The meeting has continued until today Wednesday, with sessions focusing on an in-depth debate on the soil-water-biodiversity system.
  • Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, and Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, took part in the event.
  • Finnova is involved in various projects to combat forest fires and raise awareness of climate change.

12/07/2023, Brussels. On Monday 10 July at 10:00 (CEST) took place in Valladolid the first day of the informal EU Environment and Energy Ministerial meeting Integrated forest management and fire-fighting, which were at the centre of one of the debates, are a priority for the EU. Proof of this is that there are many European projects for this purpose. One example is the Interreg CILIFO and FIREPOCTEP projects in which Finnova participates, which, with more than 32 million euros, aim to prevent and fight forest fires.

The Environment officers developed the agenda of this first day in three blocks. The first dealt with the integrated management of soil, water, forests and biodiversity. The second part of the day focused on existing alternatives for reducing marine pollution. Finally, the third section explored the need to balance the implementation of renewable energies with land management and the protection and conservation of biodiversity. 

At the subsequent meeting, Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, and Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, appeared. Ribera stressed the obligation to offer a firm response to the challenge of climate change in the face of phenomena that are already occurring, such as the heat wave in which Spain is immersed or the latest storms that have been recorded in the country.

The fight against fires and reforestation is a problem that is affecting the planet more and more every day. It is no coincidence that 2023 will go down in history as the year with the largest area burnt in the last ten years in Spain, a country that also leads the European statistics. Forest fires have burned a total of 47,784.98 hectares of land in Spain in the first five months of 2023, almost three times more than in the same period in 2022, when 16,496.88 hectares burned, according to data from the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge. 

There are many European projects aimed at putting an end to fires and alleviating their terrible consequences for the planet.

Examples of these are CILIFO and FIREPOCTEP, two projects that are part of the European Union’s INTERREG POCTEP programme, which promotes cross-border cooperation projects with the support of the European Union on the border between Spain and Portugal, which, with a total of 1,234 km, is one of the longest in Europe. Together, both projects, led by the Junta de Andalucía and in which Finnova collaborates, have a total budget of 32 million euros, placing the Junta de Andalucía as a leader in interregional cooperation in innovation for the prevention and fight against fires, recovery of burnt areas, mitigation and fight against climate change, as well as the protection of wetlands and biodiversity throughout Europe.

 CIIFO and FIREPOCTEP aim to strengthen cross-border forest fire prevention and suppression systems and improve resources for the generation of rural employment post Covid-19, through the promotion of public-private cooperation.

CILIFO is the largest international cooperation project in the field of fire prevention in the European Union with a budget of 24.6 million euros. It is this that positions the Iberian Peninsula as a world leader in innovation in the forest management industry, fire prevention and fighting and recovery of burnt areas.


Also in the context of the fight against forest fires, Finnova has launched Art4Forest, a photography competition to raise awareness of the consequences of forest fires. Organised with the support of Casa Mediterráneo, Junta de Andalucía, Diplomatic World Institute and Life Watch ERIC, the competition is part of the NEXT FOREST Generation initiative, which aims to raise public awareness of the generation, control and prevention of forest fires.

About the Finnova Foundation

FINNOVA is a foundation working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship at EU level. Based in Brussels with an affiliated organisation in Spain, FINNOVA operates through collaborations and partnerships in all EU countries. FINNOVA’s expertise in leading communication and dissemination activities for EU projects is combined with a strong proven track record in start-ups and business support programmes such as accelerators, incubators and selection events and award ceremonies. FINNOVA also supports EU projects through advocacy and EU-level analysis of the legal and regulatory framework and barriers, to support the advancement of innovation across Europe. The ART4FOREST international photo competition encourages people to get closer to forests, protect the biosphere and raise awareness of environmental challenges in the face of the growing threat of forest fires. The competition is open until 19 August, coinciding with World Photography Day. Photographs will be submitted via the website The winners will be announced on 9 September 2023.

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