Reflecting on the Workshop “Shaping Future Fire-Resilient Landscapes and Communities in Portugal”

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CoLAB ForestWISE, in collaboration with the Centro de Ecologia Aplicada “Prof. Baeta Neves” (CEABN) from the  Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), hosted the workshop “Shaping Future Fire-Resilient Landscapes and Communities in Portugal” on 23 May. 

Courtesy of CoLAB ForestWISE

This significant event aimed to discuss the innovations, challenges, and advancements achieved during the 30 months of the FIRE-RES project. The activity was part of the XVIII International Seminars on the Overarching Issues of the European Area, held in Porto from May 23 to 26, 2024, at the Faculdade de Letras of the University of Porto, and was under the High Sponsorship of the President of the Portuguese Republic and the European Parliament.

Courtesy of CoLAB ForestWISE

The workshop brought together a host of national experts and researchers from different European-funded initiatives, who presented and explored various crucial dimensions of wildfire resilience, such as current challenges in managing rural fire resilience, landscapes management, as well as strategic risk communication.

These discussions provided valuable insights into the present landscape of fire management and resilience, highlighting both obstacles and successful strategies. The workshop was structured into two comprehensive panels followed by a round table discussion.

Courtesy of CoLAB ForestWISE

Panel I: Insights from the FIRE-RES Project

Francisco Castro Rego, Vanda Acácio, and Leónia Nunes from ISA/CEABN analyzed the occurrence of Extreme Wildfire Events (EWE) across Europe and discussed how landscape characteristics influence these events. On the other hand, José G. Borges and the WP2 FIRE-RES Team from ISA/CEF focused on addressing extreme wildfire events through adaptive territorial management.

The spotlight turned on the project’s Innovation Actions when Duarte Dias from INESC TEC introduced innovative wearable technologies designed for the next generation of firefighter management. Alípio Torre from INESC TEC discussed the global attraction of novel solutions to tackle wildfire community challenges through Open Innovation.

Panel II: Building a Roadmap for Resilient Communities and Landscapes

Conceição Colaço and Letícia Oliveira from ISA/CEABN explored society’s needs and interests regarding risk communication and how to empower communities by presenting the collaborative and interactive fire education platform. The contribution was followed by a roundtable session to explore community engagement with invited stakeholders in pilot areas and Living Labs of two other EU-funded projects: ResAlliance and RESIST shared their experiences and insights, emphasizing the importance of community involvement and empowerment.

Courtesy of CoLAB ForestWISE

The afternoon session also welcomed Portuguese Eurodeputee Maria Manuel Leitão Marques.  Welcoming a total of 123 participants and featuring guest speakers and stakeholders from three different EU-funded projects, the event was an invaluable opportunity to connect and exchange over common challenges and innovations.

The material shared during the workshop can be accessed here: Panel I and Panel II.

Author: Beatrice Bellavia (Euromontana).

Contributors: Brigite Botequim (CoLab ForestWISE)