Evaluation of Greek Post-Fire Erosion Mitigation Policy through Spatial Analysis
D. Myronidis1, G. Arabatzis2
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1School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, Pantazidou 193, 68200 Orestiada, Greece
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2009;18(5):865–872
In the Mediterranean region severe wildfires occur mainly in summer and they are one of the main drivers of desertification in the region. Moreover, due to the speed and scale of climatic changes, it is likely that wildfires will hit this region more frequently. As a result, every year Mediterranean countries spend millions of euros on post-fire emergency watershed stabilization measures such as check dams in streams and erosion barriers on sensitive slopes. This study implements spatial analysis to evaluate the current Greek post-fire erosion mitigation policy and to support the decision made concerning the application of the most suitable response to post-fire erosion threat by fires. Applied to a case study area on the Kassandra peninsula, our spatial modeling approach of Kassandra post-fire treatment using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has demonstrated the failure of the present policy and the need to adopt a new policy that will manage the inefficiency of the existing policy to mitigate post-fire erosion risks. Our results highlight the importance of incorporating more sophisticated and spatially detailed modelling approaches in order to achieve a more cost effective spatial targeting of land use policy interventions.