IUFRO Report Finds Forests Essential to Water Supply
Photo by Nikita Birkbeck
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The publication, titled ‘Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities,’ presents a global assessment of scientific information on the interactions between forests and water.

The report presents the results of the sixth global scientific assessment undertaken in the framework of Global Forest Expert Panel on Forests and Water (GFEP) and provides a structured synthesis on the state of knowledge on the forest-water relationship.

10 July 2018: A report released at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) finds that sustainably managing the world’s forests will be key to ensuring safe and sustainable water supplies for all. The publication titled, ‘Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities,’ presents a global assessment of scientific information on the interactions between forests and water.

With 40% of the world’s population affected by water scarcity and climate change threatening to increase the frequency of both floods and droughts in vulnerable areas, the publication highlights that the role of forests in the water cycle is as important as their role in the carbon cycle, especially in the face of climate change. In addition to being the lungs of the planet, the authors write, they also act as kidneys.

In addition to being the lungs of the planet, the authors write, forests are also the kidneys.

The report was prepared by the Global Forest Expert Panel on Forests and Water (GFEP), an initiative of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) led by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). More than 50 scientists from 20 countries contributed to the publication, which was contextually shaped by the 17 SDGs.

The report presents the results of the sixth global scientific assessment undertaken in the framework of GFEP and provides a structured synthesis of the state of knowledge on the forest-water relationship. The publication finds a clear policy gap in climate-forest-water relations and calls for a series of regional or continental studies to complement and extend the global assessment.

The authors highlight that any process for managing the trade-offs inherent in forest management must fully consider the wellbeing of local, indigenous, and other vulnerable communities. To that end, the report calls for social and environmental justice to be integrated into climate-forest-water policies, as well as for stronger participatory approaches to ensure that policy goals are sustainable and equitable. [Publication: Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities] [ICRAF Blog]


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