A Guide to Forest-Water Management

Management of world’s forests must be water-centred

Forests and trees are integral to the global water cycle and therefore vital for water security – they regulate water quantity, quality, and timing and provide protective functions against (for example) soil and coastal erosion, flooding, and avalanches. Forested watersheds provide 75 percent of our freshwater, delivering water to over half the world’s population. A Guide to Forest-Water Management is the first comprehensive global publication to provide guidance on the contribution of forests for a holistic approach to water resource management, including the management, monitoring and valuation of forests to deliver water-related ecosystem services.

A Guide to Forest-Water Management was launched on 25 August 2021 at World Water Week and is co-published by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The report is available for download on FAO website here.

Related to this report, FAO and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) have produced an e-learning course, the Forest and Water Nexus, to help people understand the links between forests and water and how they translate these into benefits for people and the planet.