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Mission & Strategy

CEF develops research, post-graduate education, and outreach activities on issues dealing with forests, agro-forestry systems semi-natural areas, and forest-based industrial chains. CEF shares the EU Forest2020 da UE vision of forests and semi-natural areas as vital, productive and multifunctional ecosystems, contributing to sustainable development and human well-being, in a healthy environment.

CEF is committed to an international perspective on research issues and fosters a diverse academic community. Most of our experimental research is located in Portugal, but it extends to the Mediterranean region and to tropical and sub-tropical regions and encompasses global approaches.

CEF has elected four strategic research areas:

  • Analysis of ecosystem structure and function, modeling energy fluxes, carbon and water cycles responses to global change drivers as environmental stresses (e.g. drought), and disturbances (e.g. fire).
  • Valuation, protection, vulnerability assessment and adaptive management of forest and semi-natural ecosystems, as well as market and non-market environmental services.
  • Sustainable resource management, including cork and timber production, silviculture, policy and economics
  • Wood and non-wood forest products, including product and process innovation, green chemistry and biorefineries.


CEF also selected three reasearch thematic strands:

  • CorKnow, on integrative research on the cork oak and cork chain
  • Adapt&Serve, on adaptive management through ecological linkages
  • Plant4Future, on the research for a sustainable plantation intensification


The strategy vectors of CEF include also:

  • a strong commitment to doctoral education as a privileged means to foster research and scientific outputs and inter-institutional cooperation (CEF is partner in SUSFOR and FLUVIO doctoral programmes)
  • A structured interaction with stakeholders and society