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22/07/2019 News

Stop Forest Fires!

Since 1950, the number of forest fires worldwide has increased sevenfold, with 350 million hectares now destroyed every year. While virtually all wild fires are started by humans, the rise in frequency is also caused by climate change, which dries out vegetation, reduces precipitation in certain areas and diminishes aquifers. Forest fires destroy precious ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity, naturally store carbon and counter soil erosion.

Total Foundation is actively committed to this cause through initiatives to prevent forest fires and restore affected areas, prioritizing the Group’s host regions. As the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition launched a national awareness campaign about forest fires in France, Total Foundation supported the French National Forestry Board (ONF) restoration project in the Montdenier state forest in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, which fell victim to a wild fire in 2017. In 2004, Total Corsica set up the Isula Verde project, which assists forest-rich municipalities in restoring areas affected by fires, implementing preventive measures and educating school children about best practices. 

In Africa, the Great Green Wall project, which is also backed by Total Foundation, is a tree-planting initiative that aims at combating desertification. It introduces fire resistant species such as desert date trees, builds fire breaks and implements brush clearing programs to limit the risk of brushfires.