CoLAB ForestWISE welcomes FIRE-RES consortium for technical day about forest protection, landscape resilience and biodiversity

The Forest and Fire CoLAB organized the second day of the General Meeting of the FIRE-RES European Project, which aims to contribute to a Europe more resilient to extreme rural fires, through innovative actions that understand the behavior of fires and their impact on the landscape, the local economy and communities.

Held yesterday morning, the purpose of the technical visit was to observe good forest management practices in situ, namely at the Serras do Porto Park, where Pedro Marques, Head of Integrated Vegetation Management at Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN), mentioned the importance of vegetation management near the electricity grid to reduce the risk of fires spreading, forest monitoring to detect fire outbreaks as early as possible and collaboration with the authorities to promote sustainable forest management. Afterwards, the participants visited a vineyard area operated by Quinta da Aveleda, in the parish of Lagares e Figueira, where Maria José Moutinho, Viticulture Technician at Quinta da Aveleda, spoke about solutions to increase the resilience of the landscape focused on bioeconomy and improving the ecosystem that they promote whenever they plant a vineyard. The visit ended at Fonte Arcada, on the property of Cristina Silva, a member of the Vale do Sousa Forestry Association, who has invested in active management with various species, particularly hardwoods for the production of quality timber. This area stands out for its biodiversity in a region dominated by stands of maritime pine and eucalyptus, many of which are not actively managed and are at high risk of fire.

In the afternoon, in collaboration with the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), INESC TEC and the Penafiel Municipal Museum, CoLAB ForestWISE held a regional/local round table moderated by Carlos Fonseca, CTO of CoLAB ForestWISE, and a second round table dedicated to the international/national scale moderated by Francisco Castro Rego, Coordinator of the Professor Baeta Neves Center for Applied Ecology (CEABN) at the ISA. Among the main topics discussed were the problems and constraints related to the interconnection of risk reduction and fire suppression policies, whether at local or regional level, or at European level, and the need to create solutions to streamline processes. Another theme was the need to change the approach to formulating policies and incentives for forest owners and managers, stressing the need to move towards “bottom-up” policies that strengthen collaboration and the networks of existing agents. In addition to the round table, the Museum also hosted a demonstration of sensors for protective equipment presented by INESC TEC, a partner in the project.