For as long as I can remember, the forest has been present in my life
15 October 2022 International Day of Rural Women
Around the world, women in rural areas work hard and tirelessly – from collecting wood and managing forests, to researching and teaching in the field of forestry. Yet often their work remains unseen.
For International Day of Rural Women, we give the word to those women on the ground. One of them is Filipa Gouveia, founder and consultant at KS.SOLUTIONS, who shared why she loves the forest, and how she helps forest owners to work more sustainably.
What does the forest mean to you, both personally and professionally?
For as long as I can remember, the forest has been present in my life. Despite being born in Lisbon, I have always lived with a privileged view of Monsanto Forest Park. As a family we have enjoyed this space a lot.
My father was born in central Portugal, and I remember the fascination I felt on travels along national roads, observing the forests that we crossed. The highlight of the trip was always the stop at Mata do Buçaco National Forest. So, despite being a leisure relationship, it has always been a strong relationship. The forest has always been a space where I felt good.
This relationship with the forest and nature led me to choose to study biology, to study and get to know the systems in which I so loved to be.
And that's how I got to work with forests, initially in a more academic way, studying the entomofauna in forest areas of several protected areas.
Why did you choose to work in the forestry sector?
I started working in the forest through the academic sector, but quickly jumped to the business sector, when I set up my company, whose objective is to support forest owners to improve their management in balance with natural factors, or even to present them alternative solutions to improve their performance.
What role does your work play for the development of the bio economy and sustainability?
My activity is focused on achieving sustainability goals and enhancing the bioeconomy, in a sense that the management of our natural resources is fundamental to the national economy. I soon realized the importance of the forestry sector for the national economy, so it only made sense to collaborate with this sector and help it become more sustainable.
What is the impact of PEFC certification on your work?
PEFC certification is one of the tools I use to guide forest owners, to make their activity more sustainable and improve their performance. Sometimes, even if the owners do not want to go ahead with the certification, the implementation of the continuous improvement processes that the PEFC system makes available are daily work tools.
International Day of Rural Women
On International Day of Rural Women, we celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness against gender bias and take action for equality. We highlight this day by giving the word to rural women in forestry, to hear about their work, what the forest means to them, and what has changed in their field over time.