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FAO Releases 20-Point International Agenda on Forests and Water

FAO21 March 2013: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)  has released a report, titled "Forests and Water: International Momentum and Action," which presents a comprehensive and practical international agenda on forests and water research and policy. The publication is based on a synthesis of outcomes and recommendations from events organized by the FAO and other institutions between 2008 and 2012.

In recognition of a world where 80 per cent of the global population already lives in water insecure areas, the report reviews the importance of forests to the sustainable management of water ecosystems and resources, and the role of water in the sustainability of forest ecosystems.

The publication's core contribution is a 20-point research and policy agenda for forests and water that aims to provide an international platform where government agencies, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and international organizations can exchange and disseminate experiences, findings and recommendations related to both policy and practice in the field. The agenda covers, inter alia: cooperation, policy and institutional development; economic incentives and mechanisms; climate change mitigation and adaptation; awareness-raising, capacity development and communication; and forest and water management.

Specific recommendations include strengthening ties between the water and forest management communities through institutional arrangements for the implementation of action programs at the national and regional levels, as well as additional research into forest-water interactions, and the incorporation of such findings into the policy agenda.

The report also summarizes the discussion points and main findings of a number of forest and water related events convened by various partner institutions, including: the Government of Switzerland, the Government of Turkey, the Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA), the Polish Forest Research Institute (IBL), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the United Nations University (UNU). It was released during the First International Day of Forests. [Publication: Forests and Water: International Momentum and Action] [IISD RS story on the First International Day of Forests]