BRIDGE – Bridging Science and Local Communities to wildfire risk reduction, is a research project that began on March 15, 2021, funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the call for Scientific Research and Technological Development Projects on Prevention and Fighting of Forest Fires.

Adopting an anticipatory approach centred on the prevention and mitigation of the risk of forest fire, the BRIDGE project relies on the traditional knowledge of the populations about the region’s fragilities and about the most adequate protective behaviours. In BRIDGE the engagement and involvement of the local community is a central condition of the project as a research approach. The aim is to build knowledge with the community and generate greater social awareness on forest fire risk, promoting continued commitment to the consensual risk reduction strategy.



BRIDGE will stand on a participatory action research (PAR) to be applied to a pre-selected area, Monchique region, Southern Portugal. PAR will comprise two major moments: one of participatory socio-territorial diagnosis and a local capacity-building process embodied in the form of a collaborative laboratory. The activities developed in the collaborative laboratory of BRIDGE (Innovation Lab for CBDRR) will be materialized through the adoption of collaborative methodologies aimed at providing space for multi-stakeholder dialogue and joint identification of most suitable strategies to wildfire risk reduction. BRIDGE’s outcomes and tools will be transformed into physical and digital objects for supporting a sharing process with local key-actors and Monchique’s population at large (as society); decision-makers, forest and land-use officials (as policy); and scientific community (as science).

Task 1

This Task aims to pursue with an in-depth knowledge of Monchique’s historical patterns of human interaction with forest ecological system and wildfire risk as a core baseline for planning the participatory action. This knowledge will stand on a multi-method approach aimed at characterizing Monchique at the macro and micro level. Special attention will be given to households’ pattern of coping with wildfire hazard, their degree of risk awareness, attitudes and action towards protective measures at housing level.

Task 2

This task aims to test participatory action tools for a better integration of knowledge and action for Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR). Such aim will be achieved through a collaborative process involving key-actors (e.g., community representatives), local stakeholders, public officials, business and scientists involved on forest management.

Task 3

T3 aims to enhance BRIDGE outreach and set the basis for guaranteeing that BRIDGE’s participatory action approach and tools endure beyond project’s conclusion. T3 will develop a roadmap to guide the adoption of BRIDGE’s participatory approach and tools in other at-risk communities and wildfire-prone areas.


Expected results

Better integration between different forms of knowledge, resources, and local action to reduce the wildfire risk reduction in Monchique.

Greater social awareness and protective measures in relation to wildfire risk reduction.

Sharing BRIDGE’s strategy and tools through a Roadmap to guide locally based wildfire risk reduction initiatives in other territories.