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Forests and water

Water-related problems are an increasingly important challenge to sustainable development, and the availability and quality of water are strongly influenced by forests. In this issue of FAO’s Unasylva, a collection of articles explore the complex interaction between water and forests in a range of contexts, and discuss the challenges for policy that arise from this.

The issue begins with ann introductory chapter, which appraises the state of knowledge of forest and water interactions and related policy issues. The authors emphasise the need to narrow the gap between research and policy-making and the importance of policy linkages between the forest and water sectors. 

In the remaining chapters, a range of authors discuss related issues and present case studies from rural and urban contexts in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Titles are:

  • Filtering of water pollutants by riparian vegetation: bamboo versus native grasses and rice in a Lao catchment
  • Practical hydrological protection for tropical forests: the Malaysian experience 
  • FAO field projects in watershed management – some examples 
  • Forests, trees and water in arid lands: a delicate balance 
  • Policy proposals for integrating forest, water and people in the Tigris and Euphrates watershed
  • Forests of Mount Kulal, Kenya: source of water and support to local livelihoods 
  • The impact of water shortage on forest resources – the case of Uganda
  • Managing forests for cleaner water for urban populations
  • Forest legacies, climate change, altered disturbance regimes, invasive species and water
  • Can the effects of El Niño be mitigated through a system of payments for environmental services? A study of the Piura River watershed, Peru 
  • Five years after Shiga: recent developments in forest and water policy and implementation 
  • Water, forests and the World Water Development Report

By presenting this range of experiences, the issue aims to contribute towards the exchange of expertise between foresters and water management specialists, as well as to the dissemination of applied research to policy-makers.