The importance of forests for managing global water resources

Vatten och Skog_Photo cred Istvan Benedek

Trees and forests are central to managing water resources effectively, not least for countries in seasonally dry regions. Trees moderate water budgets, reduce erosion and run off, cleans water and also play a central role in addressing global food security, protection of biodiversity and economic development. Trees both help to mitigate climate change and adapt to climate change. The nutrients they provide also has the potential to build resilience through diversification of farmers’ incomes, thereby supporting economic growth in rural areas.

The Swedish Water House (SWH) Cluster Group for Forests and Water bring together Swedish expertise in forest-related water management. The core group has organized seminars and workshops where more than 100 Swedish and International water and forest professionals, from more than 40 organizations; ministries, government agencies, academia and civil society, have participated. The participants have identified key factors which enabled the progress of landscape restoration and water and forest management in Sweden. These findings have been documented in the report and policy brief below, and are now being disseminated at national and international forums.

Reports and conclusions


Download the report | Download the policy brief

In these publications, we conclude that building resilient landscapes is key to secure water resources and sustainable development and Swedish expertise and experience could catalyse positive change in the management of forest landscapes at the global level. We believe that Sweden and Swedish water and forestry resource base can make a considerable contribution towards fulfilling the UN Agenda 2030 and the implementation of the 2015 climate agreement.

Are you interested in participating in the dialogue? Contact Lotta Samuelson and Nicolai Schaaf.

Current Members

2015 Swedish Water House Forestry Cluster Group Logos

Skogsstyrelsen | Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) | SSC Forestry | Stora EnsoFocali | Sveaskog

Related Resources

(External Link) Trees, Forest and Water: Cool Insights for a Hot World
(External Link) International Day of Forests 2016: What’s the state of the world’s forest? A conversation series with the Directos General of CIFOR and ICRAF
(External Link) Finding Water Amid the Trees
(External Link) FAO – Forest and Water Programme
(External Link) Intermediate tree cover can maximize groundwater recharge in the seasonally dry topics

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