Water in the Landscape cluster group: Meeting summary, 8 December 2017

Kristina Johansson
SIWI Swedish Water House

The SIWI/SWH coordinator of the Cluster Group, Anna Tengberg, opened the meeting and welcomed all participants and presenters. The theme for the meeting was “Forests and Water” and the four keynote presentations are summarised below together with key conclusions and recommendations from the meeting.

Some questions addressed during this meeting were: When are forests potentially a good thing? What are the consequences of removing a forest?

Meeting conclusions:

  • The cluster group welcomed the new participants from the food sector and concluded that it is important to consider water in the wider landscape
  • The relationship between forest and water depends on the context
  • We also need to widen the geographical perspective from watersheds to whole continents and
    cross-regional perspectives
  • It is sometimes better to focus on trees than forests
  • An additional perspective is diversification of species and use of local varieties
  • Existing conceptual frameworks do not serve us well and we need to find another way of approaching the issue of water and forests.
  • The FAO Working Group on Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems could be linked to the Call for an Africa Water Revolution
  • When identifying opportunities for restoration, we should not only focus on degradation, but try to identify opportunities instead.
  • Finally, there is also a need to have a stronger focus on stakeholders and the end-users.