18 Jan 2006

WWF New Caledonia urges new approach to fight forest fires

2:15 pm on 18 January 2006

The environmental organisation WWF New Caledonia is calling for firefighters to come up with a better strategy to manage forest fires.

Dozens of fires that erupted last month during a drought ruined 45 square kilometers of irreplaceable flora and fauna.

WWF programme manager in New Caledonia Ahab Downer says every year there are fires, but authorities have failed so far to establish adequate measures to prevent and control the fires.

He says an effective strategy is needed to protect the country's natural resources before it's too late.

"If we had a new year's wish the private citizens of New Caledonia really look forward to seeing a fire management plan being put in place so that future fires can be put out when they start, and New Caledonia doesn't risk losing the incredible biodiversity that this country is known for."

The WWF programme manager in New Caledonia Ahab Downer