In this context, ForestWISE emerges as an R&D&I institution with emphasis on knowledge transfer that brings together the multiple interdisciplinary areas that are relevant for building up a holistic and cohesive approach for the problem of rural fires and the directly related problem of the valorization of forest (market and non-market) products and services.

Indeed, raising forest value to society (companies, and the general population) will positively change the attitudes and behaviours towards land management, and fire prevention and suppression – in a virtuous feedback loop. As so, ForestWISE is expected to have a key role in capacity building for the organizations directly involved in forest and fire management. Furthermore, ForestWISE will be instrumental for developing new training and education curricula for the professionalization and qualification of the human resources needed for the success of the ongoing transformations.

Aiming to do innovative multidisciplinary research and knowledge transfer in integrated forest and fire management, responding to the national priorities of the Council of Ministers Resolution no. 159/2017, through joint efforts of the university, public administration, and industry, ForestWISE was awarded the CoLAB title granted by FCT in 2018, January 30. Later in the year, on September 29, ForestWISE – Associação para o Laboratório Colaborativo para a Gestão Integrada da Floresta e do Fogo (Association for the Collaborative Laboratory for Integrated Forest and Fire Wise Management) was formally constituted as a non-profit association governed by private law with a legal personality, aiming to carry out R&D&I activities and the transfer of knowledge and technologies, in conjunction with other entities, with the following main objectives:

  • generalize the integrated processes of protection and sustainable management of forests minimizing the risk of fire and other biotic and abiotic risks;
  • define and optimize the processes associated with rural fire management, improving the capacity to support decision making;
  • increase the productivity and health of forests and forest ecosystems, and provide a wide range of services and forest products with high added value to the industry, the rural community and society as a whole;
  • promote qualified and scientific employment by strengthening synergies with scientific and higher education institutions, in particular through specialized, vocational or advanced training programs, in close cooperation with social and economic entities.