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Summer wildfire season is becoming longer and more destructive than ever – The UN Forest Podcast

Summer wildfire season is becoming longer and more destructive than ever – The UN Forest Podcast

Wildfires cover host Jodi-Ann Jue Xuan Wang

Every year, forest fires set new records. The 2023 wildfire season in the Northern Hemisphere could not have been worse.  

The wildfire that ravaged northeastern Greece in August was the largest single wildfire recorded in the European Union (EU), burning more than 810 square kilometres.  

In the same month, the deadliest wildfire in the United States in more than a century devastated Hawaii’s Maui.  And, with more than 42 million acres of land burnt, Canada experienced a record-breaking wildfire season and broke that country’s record for wildfire smoke emissions released in a single year. The resulting estimated 410 megatonnes of carbon emissions turned New York city’s skyline orange and severely affected air quality in other North American cities such as Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.  

These are not records anybody would want to beat. But why are wildfires around the world getting bigger, more intense and lasting longer than ever before?  Should we expect these trends to continue in the future?  

While forest fires are not inherently bad, as they are part of the natural cycle of forests and contribute to maintaining biodiversity and the regeneration ecosystems, the situation has gotten out of control in recent years. The fires have become a threat to human lives, properties, flora, and fauna. What does climate change have to do with this “hot” topic? How do we avoid them causing more and more damage?  

The fourth episode of The UN Forest Podcast sheds new light on this subject. Host Jodi-Ann Jue Xuan Wang, youth advocate and Pan-Commonwealth Coordinator at the Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network, and guest Prof. Jesús San-Miguel-Ayanz, leader of European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) and the Global Wildfire Information System, dive deep into current and future wildfire trends and the role every one of us has in shaping the way forward.  

Check out “Wildfires and forests hosted by Jodi-Ann Wang” to find out more about this topic. 

Note to editors 

You can listen to the episode “Wildfires and forests hosted by Jodi-Ann Wang” on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify.  

The UN Forest Podcast is a series produced by the Joint UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section to showcase that the potential of forests goes beyond trees. Each episode features special guests and speakers who bring insights on forests as our strongest allies in fighting climate change and creating a sustainable future now and for generations to come.