Environmentalists, after the Junta de Castilla y León attack on the fires: “They are trying to distract from their responsibility”

After 60,000 hectares of mountains burned in Zamora, Castilla y León’s environment minister, Juan Carlos Suarez Quiñones, brushed aside widespread criticism of his lack of firefighting operations in a month and came out this Monday to blame environmentalists. “And their new fashion” of forest fires in society. “A smokescreen to distract from media instability,” environmentalists agree. Because the truth is that all fire management powers are held by the council, run by PP and Vox in coalition.

what fashion “As for cleaning the banks of the river. They make it difficult to clean the mountains”, answered the advisor. “In Castilla y León, it is not forbidden to carry out forestry work, except for harvesting and using some techniques at high risk to avoid sparks,” explains Núria Blasquez, ecologists at the Community of Action.

“Now where we have to focus on improving the operations in Castilla y León, which is considered as one of the worst in the state, one of the most dangerous,” Blasquez says abundantly, noting that the tendency to blame environmentalism has already emerged. “Already in Extremadura”. Precisely the speaker of United Extremadura – United we can coalition in this society – Irene de Miguel, also discovered this tendency, as she explained this weekend in the elDiario.es forum.

In fact, it was the board’s own forest firefighters who raised the alarm about poor working conditions as early as last June during the Sierra de la Culebra fire. On June 22, these workers staged a demonstration at Las Cortes de Castilla y Leon when the fire was extinguished. This Tuesday, the prosecutor’s office began proceedings against the fire management advisor following a complaint by the CCOO.

Despite everything, there was not much response from the government. This July, the same firefighters proved the poor logistics they have, showing the meager provision that came from the government of Castile and Leon. The Council dismissed these complaints. Chef José Andrés’ organization went to the area – amid criticism from the far-right – to feed the firefighters, which further confirms the shortcomings of the device’s management.

“It seems irresponsible to me and it shifts the focus of responsibility to those of us who warn us about the causes of the fires,” explains WWF Secretary General Juan Carlos del Olmo. Del Olmo analyzes that “Castilla y León has a very important challenge, because it is very wide and very populated, but it has shown a very great lack of foresight, which is not covered by blaming those of us who do not have authority. Because, if public opinion does not know, non-governmental organizations have no competition. It is the board that has the obligation to respect the firefighters.”

CEO of SEO-Birdlife, Asuncion Ruiz, believes the advisor “made a significant error in substance and form.” And then he laments: “It is unfortunate that he thus understands his responsibility for preventing and extinguishing fires, and accuses us of being guilty when it is time to act diligently and not shirk our responsibility through the enemy’s mistakes.”

“What influence does an organization like Environmentalists in Action have on the council?” They can do whatever they want and they can’t even clean the chimney,” adds Nuria Blasquez about the government of Castile and Leon, which has been in the hands of the PP since 1987.

The person in charge of the Greenpeace forest campaign, Miguel Ángel Soto, emphasizes that the person who accused them “is a consultative and autonomous community in which, after the beginning of summer, warm May, obvious drought and heat. A wave that is not surprising, because it was announced that the extinction operation was not 100% “.

And he continues: “There may be some controversy about any work or work, but to say that we contribute to the fire when the time of maximum risk in Castilla y León is activated again on July 1, now that one knows that it is summer. in advance that heat waves are multiplying… and it is his responsibility to ensure that the legislation continues and the means are maintained.”

Councilor Suarez Quiñones himself only four years ago was of the opinion that “maintaining a fire operation all year round is absurd and wasteful”, as he put it. Interview World Diary of Valladolid. “They have to take responsibility for themselves, and it’s a bit of a small thing,” adds Soto, “Whose responsibility is it to hire? And the conditions? You say it’s expensive, of course. And it turns out that environmentalists are the problem.”

In WWF and Greenpeace they agree to discuss the need to manage mountains according to fire. “We have been warning for many years that large fires are becoming more common, that there is a need to help the rural world, to promote extensive animal husbandry and mosaic landscapes… We have seen similar things,” Del Olmo explains.

“We are not saying that the mountain should not be ordered. We think that it is necessary to revitalize the rural environment and remove part of the biomass of the forests and use it for energy purposes…” – adds Miguel Angel Soto. But, for a Greenpeace expert, PP Castilla-y Leon, “runs a group that denies climate change. They have this problem.”

Nuria Blasquez, in this regard, says that what Sánchez Quinones has done “is an insinuation, a blame-drop, which then turns into a ball and affects a very angry population: someone needs to be responsible and it is the environmentalists”. Asuncion Ruiz adds that “blaming those of us who have warned for decades about the dangers of fire is a real smokescreen.”

“This is a discourse that is starting to generalize, as seen in Brazil, Russia or Hungary: it is about the criminalization of environmental organizations,” argues Juan Carlos del Olmo. He could from criticism, I worry about the sea in the background. Let it sink, as it does against the feminist movement.”

Source: El Diario





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