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Bases para uma educação ambiental orientada para a diminuição do risco e aumento da resiliência das comunidades aos incêndios florestais em Portugal
Abstract and Figures
This thesis addresses the role of environmental education on wildfire risk reduction, focusing on two main intervenient on the rural world: Forest technicians and the rural population. A first step was to assess what was done in Portugal regarding environmental education for forest and education for risk reduction. Next, the risk perception and the constraints for preventive action by the population were evaluated in three Portuguese communities showing that all have a high risk perception. Furthermore, their motivation to carry out actions on the ground is influenced by factors, both individual (negative expectation of results) and collective ("my neighbours do not clean, so, I should I?"). These results allowed to identify guidelines assisting the population on reduction of risk behaviours, which are in the origin of many forest fires in Portugal, as well as to carry out actions in the field which, besides facilitating their preparedness towards fire, promote active and preventive forest management. Forest technicians intervene in the territory and their work assignments include the area of education and awareness. These factors led to a survey of their training needs, comparing them with the different professional activities and their university education at the level of bachelor's and master's degree. It was concluded that greatest discrepancies between what is important for the professional performance and the preparation of the technicians are in the human dimension of the forest management, namely on the potential for integrating the social component of the risk perception in to a global risk management. In conclusion, environmental education should also focus on getting the rural population to interact with local actors and finding joint solutions to promote preventive action against forest fires. KEYWORDS: Forest fires, environmental education, risk perception, rural population, forest technicians.
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