FAO Guide Supports Integrated Management of Forests and Water
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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Improved management of forests to account for the provision of water-related ecosystem services is critical to the achievement of at least nine of the 17 SDGs.

The guide features six modules: introducing forest-water relationships; understanding the impact of changing landscapes on water; measuring and monitoring forest-water relationships; monitoring for forests and water; the forest-water nexus in action; and measuring the benefits of the forest-water nexus.

21 October 2019: A new guide by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) titled, ‘Advancing the Forest and Water Nexus: A capacity development facilitation guide,’ highlights the role of forests in achieving clean water for all as well as other SDGs. The guide features six modules: introducing forest-water relationships; understanding the impact of changing landscapes on water; measuring and monitoring forest-water relationships; monitoring for forests and water; the forest-water nexus in action; and measuring the benefits of the forest-water nexus.

The guide states that 90% of the world’s cities depend on forested watersheds for their water supply, and forested watersheds provide 75% of the world’s accessible freshwater resources. Yet, only 25% of global forest management schemes integrate forest, water and soil conservation. The publication, therefore, argues for an integrated approach to forest and water management. It calls for improving policymakers ability to design, implement and learn from forest-water landscape approaches. 

The guide highlights that improved management of forests to account for the provision of water-related ecosystem services is critical to the achievement of at least nine of the 17 SDGs. For instance, the sound management of forests (SDG 15) can contribute to improved access to water (SDG 6) and reduce the time it takes women and girls to collect water, contributing to SDG 5 (gender equality). Per the text, the forest-water nexus also has a direct impact on SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 2 (zero hunger) and an indirect link to SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (climate action).  [FAO Press Release] [Publication: Advancing the Forest and Water Nexus

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