Project will develop an information platform to support the forest economy

The FLOREST@ project will enable the development of a collaborative information infrastructure that enables the collection and organisation of data to generate indicators and risk models. The objective is to provide a set of data to support political and technical decision-making processes, while contributing to forest planning and management activities.

The FLOREST@ platform will collect existing data or data obtained by sensors, as well as field observation data, using mobile technologies. These data, relating to climate, soil, water, vegetation, and other biogeochemical processes, will then be organised to generate risk indicators and models, considering user profiles and different types of use, within a framework for managing data and metadata cycles, including collection, organisation, modelling, and publication.

“The FLOREST@ platform aims to support the political and technical decision-making of owners through access to data (in this case, indicators), information (e.g., risk models), and knowledge management, resulting from the monitoring of climate, soil, water, vegetation and other critical elements or processes, for the health of ecosystems and productivity of forest regions”, stated José Correia, who joined Artur Rocha and Lino Oliveira to establish the HumanISE – Human-Centered Computing and Information Science team involved in the project.

By promoting the dissemination and sharing of information, the infrastructure will support forest planning and management activities, development of forest projects and operations, certification and trade of products, as well as collaborative management and governance of users and all stakeholders in forest spaces and activities. The first prototype of the infrastructure should be available for use in March 2023. Then, the team will carry out a pilot, and the platform is expected to become available in June 2023.

The FLOREST@ Project – Collaborative information platform/infrastructure for risk assessment, monitoring and management in the production and promotion of the forest economy – is funded by the Portugal 2020 programme; the initiative is led by the company Ubiquity Technology and co-promoted by INESC TEC, the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo and Forestis – Associação Florestal de Portugal.

The involvement of INESC TEC in FLOREST@ follows other forest management projects carried out in recent years, namely the SIFOREST (2019), PLIS (2020) and rePLANT (in progress until 2023), comprehending several current competencies, particularly in terms of methodologies and tools for planning information systems and their architectures, geospatial data infrastructures, and data interoperability.

The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC and UP-FEUP.

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