29 Aug 2018, 11:00 - 0:30 UTC

Understanding the Forest-Water Nexus: redefining the narrative?

Water security is one our greatest challenges. Trees and forests are imperative for water flows. Integrated land-water management, including the strategic management of forests and landscapes with water considerations, will be crucial for resilient water supply. Approximately 75% of available freshwater sources come from forested watersheds (MEA, 2005). Despite the importance of forests as natural infrastructure, water is not a management consideration for 75% of forests worldwide (FAO, 2015).

Forests and their water-related ecosystem services can provide cost-effective, natural solutions to address growing water scarcity. It is estimated that forests as green infrastructure for water can cost less than USD 2 per person per year, which is offset by savings from reduced water treatment (World Bank, 2012; Abell et al., 2017).

This event will discuss the prevailing narratives surrounding forests and water: the myths, the complex truths and the implications our understanding has on practice and policy, and vice versa. It aims to bridge the divide between the water and forest sectors and suggest next steps to better integrate forests in water management and water in forest management.

Venue name: Folkets Hus 307


11-11:10 Welcome: Championing forests and water – cross-sectoral collaboration
Katarina Veem (SIWI); Olcay Unver (FAO); James Dalton (IUCN)

11:10-11:25 Forests and Water – GFEP Report
Irena Creed (IUFRO/University of Saskatchewan)

11:25-11:35 Video: “Amazonia’s Flying Rivers”

11:35-12:25 Panel Dialogue
Moderated by Lotta Samuelson (SIWI) Discussion featuring representatives of practice and policy from both the forest and water sectors, discussing the needs and challenges of progressing the forest-water topic. Includes audience participation.

  • Lis Bernhardt (UNEP)
  • Astrid Hillers (GEF)
  • Todd Gartner (WRI)
  • James Reed (CIFOR)
  • Elaine Springgay (FAO)

12:25-12:30 Conclusion/Wrap up
James Dalton (IUCN)


  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • SIWI Swedish Water House
  • International Union for Forest Research Organization


29 Aug 2018, 11:00 - 0:30 UTC