Policy Brief.2019

Managing the forest water nexus: Opportunities for climate change mitigation and adaptation


The forest and water sectors play key roles in climate change mitigation and adaptation and are important components in the Paris Agreement. In this policy brief you will find recommendations for countries, organizations and others on how to work with resilient landscapes management, which is also integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The text draws on findings from the expert group Forest-Water Champions, consisting of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The recommendations are presented together with supporting evidence from forest-water initiatives, tools, and approaches used around the world.

Forests and water are inextricably linked through their multiple functions, including regulation of basin flow, reduction of flooding and droughts, or impact on water yield or quality, as well as climate regulation through carbon sequestration and securing of carbon sinks. The complexity of the highly contextual forest-water relationships requires management decisions that are based on science and an understanding of these relationships at different temporal and spatial scales, as well as changing climate and land-use contexts.