It is often assumed that upstream land use practices have important impacts on water resources and affect the downstream users at a watershed scale. Payments by downstream users to upstream users for "environmental services" such as good water quality, less sediments or more regular water flow are widely discussed. However, much controversy exists about the direction and magnitude of such impacts, how they influence the relationships between upstream and downstream users, and which mechanisms allow for a sharing of resulting benefits and costs by all resource users in a watershed context. To address these Issues, the FAO Land and Water Development Division organized the electronic workshop "Land-Water Linkages in Rural Watersheds" from 18 September to 27 October 2000.
The present publication contains the proceedings of the workshop and two papers that set the stage for the workshop discussions. The complete workshop documentation, including discussion archive, background papers and case studies, is included on the CD-ROM that accompanies the document.