Normative work and publications

FAO carries out constant conceptual work with its 189 member countries. Taking advantage of the wealth of specific experience and expertise of government agencies, universities, research institutions, etc, FAO brings on board current issues which require particular attention, analyzes and systemizes them, provides state-of-the-art reports which offer complete overviews of the issues at stake, and contributes to the advancement of concepts and approaches. As a retrofeedback mechanism, findings and recommendations resulting from these normative processes are tested and validated at the field level, thus allowing a continuous improvement. One example in this connection is the global assessment of watershed management practices that led to the release of a resource book for field practitioners and technicians (The New Generation of Watershed Management Programmes and Projects) and of guidelines addressing policy-makers (Why Invest in Watershed Management?). This pages provides the links to download flagship publications and working papers.

Flagship publications

Forests and Water - International Momentum and Action 21 March 2013 Forests play a crucial role in the hydrological cycle. Forests influence the amount of water available and regulate surface and groundwater flows while maintaining high water quality. Forests and trees contribute to the reduction of water-related risks such as landslides, local floods and droughts and help prevent desertification and salinization. A key challenge faced by land, forest and water managers is to maximize the wide range of forest benefits without detriment to water resources and ecosystem function. As part of the follow-up to the Shiga Declaration and to the Warsaw Resolution 2, many events on forests and water were organized by FAO and other institutions between 2008 and 2011. Presenting experiences ranging from research to project implementation worldwide, these events provided new, up-to-date insight into the topic as well as important recommendations for the way forward. FAO took the initiative of synthesizing the main outcomes and recommendations resulting from this process to develop a comprehensive and practical internationalforests and water agenda to address future course of action. [more]
Why invest in sustainable mountain development? 20 December 2011 This booklet summarizes state-of-the-art information on the characteristics of and threats to mountain ecosystems, the environmental services they provide and the impacts of climate change. It explains approaches to sustainable mountain development, including natural resource management, economic opportunities, and mountain policies and governance. It describes the way forward and provides recommendations for addressing sustainable mountain development at the global and local levels. [more]
FAO Forestry Paper on Forests and Water 1 January 2008 This thematic study on forests and water was developed in the context of the Global Forest Resources Assessment programme. It is directed to a broad range of technical experts, scientists and decision-makers, particularly national authorities, and presents recommendations on giving more attention to the role of forests and trees in water protection and management at the national level. It also calls for stronger collaboration between the water and forest communities. [more]
Unasylva Issue on Forests and Water 1 April 2007 Foresters and water management specialists are cooperating more closely than ever before, but their exchange of expertise could be developed further. Informed decisions about integrated forest and water management depend on applied research and its dissemination to policy-makers. With this issue of Unasylva we hope to enhance the flow of information, knowledge – and safe water. [more]
Why Invest in Watershed Management 1 January 2007 Preparing for the Next Generation of Watershed Management Progammes and Projects: Europe Why should we invest in watershed management? Watersheds offer multiple services to human societies; the world’s supply of freshwater for domestic, agriculture and industry uses depends heavily on flows that are created and regulated by watersheds. Agricultural food security is affected by the quantity and quality of ground and surface water supplies, as well as sediment deposition in flood zones. Watershed forests are important sources of timber, fuel wood and non-timber based forest products. They are also sources of traditional medicines and places for spirtual practices. Each watershed functions on its own scale and its important that we recognize these natural units and adapt our resource management strategies to be more inline with nature. [more]
18 July 2006 A resource book for practitioners and local decision-makers based on the findings and recommendations of an FAO review. [more]
The New Generation of Watershed Management 1 January 2006 Preparing for the Next Generation of Watershed Management Programmes and Projects: Asia This resource book has been written primarily for field-level watershed management practitioners and local decision-makers involved in watershed management at the district or municipality level. It is also expected to be a useful source of information on the new generation of watershed management for other readers, such as senior officers, consultants, evaluators, policy-makers and watershed management students. [more]
Forests and Floods: Drowning in Fiction or Thriving on Facts? 1 January 2005 This booklet aims to separate fact from fiction on issues related to forests and water and to dispel some of the commonly held misconceptions about the role of forests in flood mitigation. It does not pretend to provide an exhaustive overview on the subject; rather, it aims to brief policy-makers, development agencies and the media, and so constructively contribute to the development of sound watershed and river-basin management, and flood-mitigation policies, for the region. [more]

Working papers

Preparing for the Next Generation of Watershed Management Progammes and Projects: Europe 4 September 2002 This document summarizes the proceedings of a European workshop held as part of a global review of the current status and trends of integrated watershed management. The European Regional Workshop was hosted on 4 September 2002 by the Ville de Megève, France. Megève, meaning “the place of waters” in Celtic, is a renowned international tourist resort and is indeed at the centre of water and watershed management challenges, its concern being to sustain the balance between mountain ecological and economic interests. [more]
Preparing for the Next Generation of Watershed Management Programmes and Projects: Latin America 17 June 2003 The new generation of watershed management programmes and projects As an element of FAO’s wider review and assessment process of watershed management strategies and approaches for the decade 1990 to 2000, the Latin American Regional Workshop on Preparing the Next Generation of Watershed Management Programmes and Projects was held from 15 to 17 June 2003 in Arequipa, Peru. This document summarizes the proceedings. [more]
Preparing for the Next Generation of Watershed Management Programmes and Projects: Asia 13 September 2003 This publications contains the proceedings of the Asia Regional Workshop on sustainable mountain development and watershed management held in Kathmandu, Nepal conducted as part of a large-scale assessment and global review of the current status and future trends of integrated watershed management. [more]
Preparing for the Next Generation of Watershed Management Programmes and Projects: Africa 10 October 2003 The FAO and its partners undertook a large-scale assessment and global review of the current status and future trends regarding knowledge about and techniques for integrated watershed management. These are the proceedings from the African Regional Workshop on Preparing the Next Generation of Watershed Management Programmes held at the ICRAF's offices in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop brought together 42 researchers, educators, development experts, river basin managers and government officials responsible for agriculture, environment, lands and water from 13 African countries, the United Kingdom, the East African Community Secretariat, FAO and ICRAF. [more]
Preparing for the Next Generation of Watershed Management Progammes and Projects: Water Resources for the Future 24 October 2003 The International Watershed Management Conference on Water Resources for the Future was held from 22 to 24 October 2003, in Sardinia (Italy) at Porto Cervo, Province of Sassari. This location offered a very appropriate venue for the conference, because water scarcity, soil erosion, low forest cover and opportunities for tourism development in Sardinia offer issues to discuss and share that are very relevant to approaches related to watershed management in many other areas of the world. The international conference was the culmination of a series of regional workshops. The conference, which brought together about 67 participants representing 19 countries, provided a forum for inter-regional exchange on watershed management and water-related issues. [more]
Watershed Management Case Study: Latin America 1 January 2004 This case study is based on national reports prepared with support from FAO. This study also reviews an FAO report on lessons leart from regional watershed management projects, as well as the results of information sharing and managmeent issues. The case study analyses the evolution and validation of conceptual freameworks and methodological approaches to watershed manadmenet, as well as first hand experiences from projects and programmes. [more]
Watershed Management Case Study: Mediterranean 1 January 2004 Watershed management concepts and approaches practiced within the Mediterranean region are adressed with comparisons made to EC and non EC countries. This study provides future recommendations for the next generation of watershed management within the region. [more]
Watershed Management Case Study: Nepal 1 January 2004 This case study provides an in-depth analysis of Nepal's views, efforts and achievements in watershed managment. Its primary objective is, on the basis of the findings made from the analysis, to make recommendations for the next generation of watershed management projects and programmes. It contributes valuable information and inspirations from a country strongly marked by the mountain ecosystems and processes that affect communities living in them. [more]
Watershed Management Case Study: Burundi 1 January 2004 This document is one of four case studies that were prepared in FAO's global review of integrated watershed managment practicies. The document focuses on comprehensive and integrated swamp management in Burundi. [more]

last updated:  Wednesday, February 27, 2013