XIV World Forest Congress 2015

International Forests and Water Dialogue

Tuesday 8 SeptemberWednesday 9 September 2015

Forests use water, but they also provide water. Forests and trees regulate surface and groundwater flows; maintain high water quality; help reduce water-related risks, such as landslides, floods and droughts; and contribute to the prevention of desertification and salinization. 

Worldwide, more than one in six people still do not have access to safe drinking water and approximately 80 percent of the global population lives in areas where water resources are insecure. As global demand for fresh water rises and water grows scarcer, land managers and policy-makers need to balance the trade-offs between the ecosystem services provided by forests and trees and forest-induced changes in water availability. 

This two-day special event will see the finalization and launch of a Five-year Forests and Water Action Plan. Calling for action in the areas of science, policy, economics and forest practices, the Plan was drafted over the last two years by an expert group and partner organizations from around the world. 

See room, times and speakers:  Day 1 - Day 2

Tuesday 8 September (Day 1)


Introduction to the International Forests and Water Dialogue
What do “Forests and Water,” mean? Come listen to IUFRO President, Mike Wingfield, and the South African Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, explain forest-water interactions and why it is such an important topic. Meet the key players of the Forests and Water Agenda.


Discover Forests and Water
From groundwater to atmospheric water, trees and forests play an important role in the hydrologic cycle. David Ellison (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Irena Creed (Western University) and Richard Harper (IUFRO Taskforce on Forests, Soil and Water Interactions) will explain the science behind forest-water interactions, its global significance and how the scientific community would like to contribute to the forests and water topic in the future.


Lightning talks
Rapid-fire presentations on the latest research on forests and water. Get the answers to all your forest-water science questions during a discussion period.


Forests and Water in Practice
How are forests managed for water? Phil Dobie (ICRAF) and HE Ato Sileshi, the Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture, introduce how forest and water interactions are managed “on the ground.” In addition, case studies featuring forest-water interactions will be presented, including those from the South African context


World Cafe
From mangroves to dry Mediterranean forests, visit examples of forest-water interactions from around the world. Discover best practices and share lessons learned and your forest-water experiences. Network with organizations engaged in the forests and water topic.

Wednesday 9 September (Day 2)


Forests and Water in Policy
Thomas Hofer (FAO) and Maharaj Muthoo (Roman Forum) discuss the status of integrated forest-water policy: the challenges and successes, and explain how the Forest and Water Agenda momentum grew internationally.


Forests and Water Network Governance Discussion Groups
Discuss the expectations of a Forests and Water network: How should members benefit from the Network? How could members contribute? What support would be useful from the Network to advocate for integrated forest-water management and policy to decision- and policy-makers? This session will have a break out in Room 11AB.


From Discourse to Action
The official launch of Forests and Water: a Five-year Action Plan.


Dialogue in Review and the Way Forward
Debora Patta (Channel 4 Journalist) moderates a panel of forest and water experts who will highlight the key messages from the Dialogue and discuss the way forward for Forests and Water. On the panel: Thomas Hofer (FAO), Irena Creed (Western University), Richard Harper (IUFRO Taskforce on Forests, Soil and Water Interactions), Tony Simons (ICRAF), Anders Malmer (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Hans Friederich (INBAR), Lotta Samuelson (SIWI) and Tatenda Mapeto (IFSA).

Who can attend?

All individuals and institutions registered for the Congress are welcome to attend. In particular, the event promises to draw government technicians and extension officers, policymakers, scientists, practitioners and private sector representatives from the water, forestry, agroforestry, landscape planning, economic, rural development and finance sectors.

Please indicate your interest in attending the event when registering for the Congress.

This event is co-organized by FAO, IUFRO, the World Agroforestry Centre and INBAR, with additional organizational support from:

Beijing Forestry University

Chinese Academy of Forestry
Forest Hydrology Laboratory, University of São Paulo
Government of Alberta, Canada
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
Forest Research Institute, Poland
Stockholm International Water Institute
Universitat Politécnica de Valencia