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COORDINATION:  FCT NOVA - Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Rui Ferreira Santos

ISA TEAM: Filipe Xavier Catry (Coordination), Susana Dias, Margarida Tomé, Miguel Bugalho, Manuela Branco, Iryna Skulska, Jean Magalhães

INSTITUTIONS: FCT NOVA - Universidade Nova de Lisboa; Instituto Superior de Agronomia - Universidade de Lisboa; ForestWISE - Collaborative Laboratory for Integrated Forest & Fire Management; RAÍZ - Instituto de Investigação da Floresta e Papel; The Navigator Company, SA; Natura XXI, Lda; Altri Florestal, SA; 2BForest.


Transform – Agenda for the digital transformation of the forest sector for a resilient, low-carbon economy

Valuing ecosystem services (ES), such as regulation of the hydrological cycle, erosion control, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity, is on the international research agenda and is the basis of payment schemes for ecosystem services (PES) that allow assigning value to services that are not valued by the markets or that are insufficiently valued. PES schemes can be a tool for the efficient allocation of forest space functions according to their suitability, allowing for an increase in area, management and economic enhancement of spaces dedicated to protection and conservation, but also of the associated regulation services to forest production.

For the operationalization of the forest PES, through effective public policies, it is necessary to collect and unify the existing databases and proceed with the survey/construction of new ones in order to: i) map the potential of the ES in the territory; ii) have a unified methodology for assessing the different ES, which can simultaneously obtain FSC certification for Ecosystem Services at the local level; iii) have an efficient incentive system.

This project aims to achieve the three results mentioned above, with the following objectives: a) to contribute to an effective improvement in the state of ecosystems, as well as the achievement of internationally agreed targets (e.g. EU Green Deal, Paris Agreement), through the activation of the green infrastructure, in a context of improving the efficiency of forestry production; b) support the foundation of territorial planning policies and respective funding; c) promote new markets and activities based on the territory, with the respective recognition and appreciation by an international certification system (e.g. FSC Ecosystem Services); d) provide an instrument that can be used by the Administration.

In summary, the project will result in 1) a typification of the services of the various forest ecosystems in Portugal; 2) an integrated methodology for the biophysical assessment and economic valuation of relevant ES, promoting articulation with Procedure FSC-PRO-30-006 - Ecosystem Services Procedure: Impact Demonstration and Market Tools; and 3) a proposal for incentive systems for the provision of ES, attracting public and private funding, adjusted to the types of forest systems analyzed.

This project is part of the Transform Agenda, which is an initiative of agents in the forest sector, to induce the transformation of value chains through R&D and innovation, towards the digital transition, economic resilience and carbon neutrality. It is a collaborative project that aims to instill some structural transformations in the forest value chain, such as forest management and fire risk reduction, territory valuing, training of people and companies, etc.