So far, the 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund under the thematic objective ‘Promotion of the climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management’ has supported the acquisition of equipment for the fire brigade in 8 out of 13 Greek regions, namely East Macedonia & Thrace, Central Macedonia, West Macedonia, West Greece, Crete, South Aegean and North Aegean. The selected actions correspond to EUR 23.5 million, the contracts to EUR 12.3 million and the payments to EUR 2 million.
Moreover, through their Rural Development Programmes, Member States may provide support for the prevention and restoration of damage to forests from forest fires and natural disasters and catastrophic events(1). The current version of the Greek Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 foresees a total public expenditure of EUR 166.7 million for this purpose.
Greece has the possibility to activate the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) to request assistance from participating States in fighting forest fires, as it did in July and August 2015. Upon activation of the UCPM, the Commission coordinates the delivery of assistance and ensures that the help provided is efficient.
The Commission considers that the timely implementation of the selected actions will contribute decisively to the fight against forest fires. In addition, a series of prevention measures (including spatial planning, solid waste management and closure of illegal landfills, reforestation and awareness raising campaigns) could also contribute to the reduction of the forest fire risk.