Water and forests

Payment for environmental services in Mexico. Healthy forests act as a filter to keep pollution out of water.

forest and water resources

IUCN seeks to showcase the achievements of cities, regions and countries in protecting and restoring forests to produce clean water and manage flooding for all. The International Year of Freshwater and the third World Water Forum Kyoto, Japan, helped drive the incorporation of this understanding of biophysical interactions between forests and water into policies.

However, such a policy should be weighed against the consequent loss of the many other services and goods that forests supply, including erosion control, improved water quality, carbon fixation, recreation and aesthetic appeal, timber, fuelwood, other forest products and biodiversity.

Therefore, the relationship between forests and water is a critical issue that must be accorded high priority.

How is forest management protecting soil

Moreover, solid evidence has shown that in tropical ecosystems the protective role of upstream forest cover against seasonal downstream floods has often been overestimated. In addition, forest and water supply services work closely together. Payments do not necessarily involve money; often they take the form of services a community has been lacking, such as new or better roads, a school bus or weekly transport for farm produce. Forests and floods, revisited. Deforestation weakens this process, leading to irregular rainfall patterns including drought and flooding. Alice Creek photo by Pamela Winders. Forests also play a role in water availability. Tree canopies reduce groundwater and stream flow, through interception of precipitation and evaporation and transpiration from the foliage. As both natural and human-established forests use more water than most replacement land cover including agriculture and forage , there is no question that forest removal even partial increases downstream water yields. Rhine — Program on the sustainable development of the Rhine. Moreover, deep tree roots stabilize slopes and help prevent shallow landslides. And water security is dependent on forests. London, UK, Earthscan. IUCN is the secretariat of the Bonn Challenge, which is a global effort to bring million hectares of deforested and degraded land into restoration by and million hectares by The programme provides direct payments to landowners with forest in excellent condition; it pays for watershed conservation and for management and restoration of temperate and tropical forests associated with water supply to communities.

In Depth. Yet, 75 percent of the world's forests are not managed for water conservation. Forests also play a role in water availability. Forest Ecology and Management, — These needs are even more pressing with climate change adding to the complexity of the forest—water relationship and influencing forestry and water policies in many regions of the world.

Forestry effect on air

Approximately 89 percent of the South's forestland is privately-owned, making it the nation's stronghold for private forestland ownership. Many cities, such as Vienna, invest in forest protection, management and restoration in their upstream watersheds to protect the rivers from which they take their drinking water. The Indian government made a Bonn Challenge pledge to restore 13 million hectares of degraded land by and an additional eight million hectares by Local species are very important in such buffers that not only house a rich biodiversity but also help in nurturing and moderating the flow of the rivers, provide other services such as food, fodder and fencing materials for the communities. Hofer, S. It can also be downloaded online at: www. Indigenous communities to the rescue For a country like India, which is faced with the dual challenge of fast degradation of natural forests and growing water scarcity, one of the best ways to combat both these challenges and simultaneously meet its climate goals is to vest more control of the forests in the local and indigenous communities. Similarly, management of transboundary watersheds and river basins should give greater consideration to the relationship between upstream forest cover and downstream water flows. Midwest by percent. This would easily meet the target of million tonnes CO2 sequestration, and the resources for this could come from Compensatory Afforestation CAMPA funds and other resources. Many of these public drinking water supplies come from watershed located either completely or partly in federal forestlands. While India and many other countries are justifying the diversion of existing natural forests—often big patches of them—with the promise of compensatory plantation, evidence has already proven that large-scale land-use conversion is having even larger-scale impacts; for example, there is evidence to support the theory that large-scale deforestation in the Amazon and Congo basins has affected regional and continental precipitation. The loss of access to clean water, and the pollution of water sources, is partially due to deforestation.
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Forests and Water