Sustainable use of water in the landscape for productive and multifunctional landscapes

The world’s population is growing in numbers and the standard of living is increasing, and so is the competition for water. The demand for water is growing for increased food production, manufacturing and energy production. Climate change enhances these water challenges through changed precipitation patterns and results in too much or too little water, or water of poor quality. Productive, multifunctional landscapes – where trees, forests and farmlands produce raw materials, strengthen biodiversity and maintain the water cycle are a prerequisite for sustainable development globally. Restoring degraded landscapes is therefore becoming increasingly important. It is against this background that Swedish Water House has started a new cluster group (multi-stakeholder platform) focusing on Water in the Landscape.

Read the cluster group report “Water for productive and multifunctional landscapes” here »

SWH’s former cluster group “Water and Forest” concluded that productive landscapes forms the basis for meeting people’s needs for water, food and raw materials, as well as conserving biodiversity and reducing negative impacts of climate change. Restoring the millions of hectares of degraded forest landscapes in the world to productive and multifunctional landscapes would contribute to many of the goals of Agenda 2030, not least Objective 6, Clean Water to All, with strong links to Objective 15, Life on Land. The work of the newly started cluster group “Water in the Landscape” will build on these conclusions, focusing especially on the fundamental role of water for landscape productivity. The purpose of the work is to strengthen Swedish actors’ understanding and competence in integrating hydrological aspects of landscape restoration, so that Sweden can more effectively contribute to meeting the objectives of Sweden’s Global Development Policy (PGU), Agenda 2030 and international restoration initiatives.

The aim is that Swedish scientific and practical knowledge of hydrology and water-related ecosystem services, as well as restoration to productive multifunctional landscapes, are highlighted in Sweden’s Global Development Policy (PGU) and Sweden’s Agenda 2030 Strategy, and inform global restoration initiatives such as the Bonn Challenge, the New York Declaration of Forests and the Governors’ Climate and Forests Taskforce. The following issues will be addressed:

  1. How does the hydrology affect the productivity of the landscape and what hydrological aspects need to be considered when rehabilitating/restoring a landscape for sustainable production of nutritious food and other natural resources that contribute to sustainable growth locally, regionally and globally?
  2. Which governance arrangements and management approaches enable and support the productivity of the landscape, minimize the risk of over-exploitation of water and enables agreements between different stakeholders?

Thematic cluster group meetings (learning and discussion opportunities) are organized on various aspects of the importance of hydrology for the productivity of the landscape and the opportunities and possibilities of landscape restoration. Challenges regarding access to water, climate change and implications for supporting one of the fastest growing population in the world in sub-Saharan Africa will be receive special attention.

Invitations to seminars and other activities will be found on this page. Are you interested in participating in the dialogue about water in the landscape? Contact Anna Tengberg, Lotta Samuelson or Johan Karlsson.


Related publications

Download the report | Download the policy brief

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