Reference of themes where ForestWISE intends to act, the R&D&I agenda is a guide for the competencies (internal or external) ForestWISE must develop, and it will serve as an R&D&I guidance for projects funded in competitive programs and for the services provided to internal and external clients.

Diversity in the R&D&I agenda themes, their amplitude, and focused emphasis assure the orientation of the ForestWISE results to increase the competitiveness of the Portuguese forestry sector and reduce the negative consequences of rural fires.

It is a management tool, with periodic and participatory reviews, driven by the research needs of the associates and the national priorities, hence aiming to support the definition of sectoral public policies. On its whole, the R&D&I agenda represents a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to the issues of fire, forest enhancement and sustainable development of the forest-based industry.

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This research theme focus on the sustainable management of forested areas in the presence of wildfires at a landscape scale, including organization models and tools, new multi-functional forests, and ecosystem services. Some of the expected research outcomes may include:

  • integrated landscape management and planning, tools for monitoring land use and land change, preventive planning and forestry models;
  • transfer results from genetic improvement programs for final users, new cloning protocols for genetically improved species, and plant-level resistance and adaptation to fire and climate change;
  • improve forest management methods, models and tools for higher productivity and adaptability, and for addressing conservation goals;
  • forest management and planning at different spatial and temporal scales, including post-fire emergency stabilization;
  • and new multi-functional forests models and ecosystem services.

This research theme focus in risk handling trough fuel management, community prevention, fire suppression system design and management, and ecosystem restoration, including forest health monitoring. Some of the expected research outcomes may include:

  • fuel treatments, with and without fire (including agro-forestry practices), fuel management performance (e.g., fuel breaks), fuel dynamics (e.g., fuel load modelling), and fuel-complex load and structure;
  • management of human-caused ignitions and communities’ preparedness (urban and house planning and construction in the WUI and fire wise communities);
  • meteorology fire weather, extreme fire behaviour, and fire suppression system management and its flexible redesign;
  • the increase resilience of forests through new silvicultural models and the next-generation of plans for forest health;
  • guidelines and solutions to restore forests after the occurrence of catastrophic events and control of fire-resilient invasive species.

This research theme focuses on the mobilization and uses of biomass, secured wood supply, forest operations, emergency logistics, and the new challenges driven by the circular economy. Some of the expected research outcomes may include:

  • design of sustainable and efficient biomass supply chains and logistics, including harvesting, logistics and appraisal of burned wood;
  • foster the adoption of adequate equipment for biomass collection and transport (especially for non-used biomass from DFCI) and characterize the biomass supply chains at the national and regional level to provide support to the definition of sectoral strategies and policies;
  • design of sustainable and collaborative forest-based supply chains, research on the use of electric vehicles in transportation to forest-mills, and develop intelligent forest operation systems and new human-machine-terrain interactions linked to supply-chain systems;
  • fire suppression logistics, including occupational health of firefighters;
  • rethinking forest-based products and production processes in the framework of circular economy, support emerging bio-refinery projects for converting forest biomass into biofuels and bio-products, new wood-based packaging solutions, and improve industrial by-products re-utilization (e.g., in silviculture) to improve organic matter and soil conservation.

This research theme focus in the use of remote data collection (e.g., space data, sensors), IoT, and other innovative technologies (within the realm of forest 4.0) applied to forest and wildfire management, in order to infuse science and technology at all system levels, through the development, implementation, and routinization of the use of decision support systems, from the operational to the strategic level. Some of the expected research outcomes may include:

  • forest 4.0 concepts and technologies to support daily activities of forest practitioners and smallholders (including smart apps for forestry inventory), for the forest industry, and mechanization solutions for forest operations adapted to the national context;
  • ignition detection and fire monitoring issues, firefighters’ safety (remote sensing), and technologies, models and tools for low-cost collection of forest-related data;
  • tools for optimizing forest logistics and securing supply;
  • tools for forecasting (fuel management planning, fire simulators, and post-fire risk assessment) and risk management (rapid assessment of values at risk and probabilistic fire simulation), and warning and communication systems for disaster management;
  • integration of information systems in the fire suppression decision-making processes.

This research theme focus on risk attitudes and risky behaviours, risk communication, and in the study of the socioecological systems in their specific context, including the value of forested areas to forestland owners. Some of the expected research outcomes may include:

  • attitudes and behaviours regarding fire prevention, communities’ protection and safety, fire suppression and post-fire restoration, including collaborative approaches;
  • risk communication;
  • social, economic and ecological interactions;
  • social-economic studies of forestland owners and design new ways to promote higher engagement towards forest management;
  • develop processes to access and communicate the value of rural areas (list and map).

This research theme focus in the governance of natural resources and in policy assessment and (system) design. Some of the expected research outcomes may include:

  • risk governance, stakeholders management, adoption barriers and implementation management; and training and collaboration in education programs;
  • (economic) evaluation of the investment mix in a portfolio of alternative options;
  • support the design of policies and incentives related to the forest sector, including the assessment and design of instruments to support forest investment;
  • study the impacts of public policies on economy decarbonisation on the biomass sub-sector and policy recommendations and regulation of burned areas;
  • organizational models and tools for landowners’ collective action.