ForestWISE, as a Collaborative Laboratory that mobilizes applied research and the co-creation and transfer of knowledge in the area of integrated forest and fire management, aims to contribute to the great challenge caused by COVID-19 through the initiative “The forest and fire in times of pandemic”.
Following the repository creation, carrying links to relevant technical and scientific articles and publications on various aspects related to forest and fire in COVID-19 context, ForestWISE established this Virtual Forum intending to collect and share the opinions of experts on the following topics:
- How will the forest and fire sectors come out of these pandemic times?
- What will change in these sectors due to the pandemic?
The initiative aimed to the scientific, business and institutional community, and was open to all interested parties. Participation was free of charge with prior registration. Participants were invited to share their thoughts with the panel of experts (until July 6).
Forum access: https://zoom.us/j/96039726515
July 7th of 2020, Tuesday
14h30 – 17h30
Cláudio Heitor, CONFAGRI
João Gaspar, REN
João Gonçalves, Centro PINUS
José Ferreira, ENB
José Manuel Duarte da Costa, ANEPC
Luís Braga da Cruz, Forestis
Nuno Banza, ICNF
Nuno Neto, The Navigator Company
Paulo Fernandes, C.M. Fundão
Pedro Santos, CONSULAI
Rui Clero, GNR
Tiago Oliveira, AGIF
|Opening (14h30):||José Manuel Mendonça, Chairman of the ForestWISE Board of Directors
João Paulo Catarino, Secretary of State for Nature Conservation, Forests and Territorial Management
|Panel (experts):||First round (14h45)
Second round (16h00)
Moderator: Abílio Pereira Pacheco, Senior Researcher at ForestWISE
|Closing (17h25):||Carlos Fonseca, CTO do ForestWISE|
- Each expert on the panel, consisting only of practitioners, had 10 minutes to reflect on the two proposed questions, in two rounds of listening, 5 minutes each;
- A set of personalities, covering a wide spectrum of knowledge, was invited to attend, being also invited to write a free comment (2 to 5 pages) on the addressed issues;
- These comments, together with the summary of the event (prepared by ForestWISE) and any other texts written by practitioners, will be collected in a publication in the form of a “book”.
- Period of a global pandemic, affecting dozens of countries, some of which with realities close to ours (countries in the Temperate Region, in the Mediterranean Subregion);
- Undefined duration of the SARS-COV-2 threat;
- Part of the social, industrial and economic organization will have to rearrange following the impact and uncertainties caused by the pandemic;
- In view with the growing limitations imposed to the economic and social tissue – of financial, mobility and contact nature – threatening the paths traced previously, new scientific, technological, social, economic and public policy challenges emerge;
- ForestWISE, as a mobilizing structure for applied research, knowledge transfer and co-creation in the area of integrated forest and fire management, should contribute to address these challenges, during the pandemic, in co-COVID-19 and preparing the post-COVID-19.
This ForestWISE initiative aimed to contribute towards the dialogue between companies, public organizations and academia, concerning the current and future challenges posed by COVID-19 , namely, from an economic perspective (impact throughout the entire value chain), social perspective (impact on fighting rural fires and civil protection) and ecological perspective (impact on preventive silviculture, in preventing rural fires and the ecosystem).
– What do we need to collectively respond to the current crisis?
– Which paths are economically feasible, but also socially and ecologically acceptable, to emerge from after the battle against SARS-COV-2, within the broad spectrum of sectors related to integrated forest and fire management?
Suiting merely as a starting point, without any intentions to circumscribe the discussion, the following themes and challenges were proposed for prior reflection:
- Sensitization and education of the general population;
- Rural extension with rural landowners, shepherds and other managing agents in the territory;
- The collapse of landscape management processes (e.g. pastoralism) due to temporary breaks in distribution chains or product outlets;
- Impacts on inspection and surveillance processes, and the potential that technology can bring to solve constraints and free resources. Also, how technological potential and the need for human police force presence can be made compatible;
- Emergency management (not just its logistics), including availability and security, strategic planning and operational planning, communication and connection to the theater of operations (TO), among others.
 In the long run, contribute to increasing preparedness and resilience in similar events that may occur.
- List the problems that affect the forestry sector, with further systematization while finding common points of these by defining concrete, sectorial and intersectoral (ranks) solutions;
- Preview of predictable changes in the competitive landscape and in terms of regulation;
- Identification of necessary adaptations to preventive and combat rural fires measures;
- Changing attitudes towards ecosystems and their services, as regards environmental, social and economic sustainability;
- Production of guidelines for public policy information in the field of forest and fire, during the pandemic (co-COVID-19) and post-COVID-19;
- Identification of changes in both national and international research needs in the field of forest and fire, and adaptation of measures to suggest (type of support and funds) in this scenario;
- Identification of prioritized lines of action (new or reinforcing existing ones);
- Identification of lessons and good practices, aiming the preparation for future similar events
- Reflection on implications for the research and technology transfer strategy within ForestWISE;
- Analysis of alternatives in the ongoing transformation (international benchmarking).