Forest and Water Programme

Forest-water connections to achieve the SDGs: A Call to Action


The session “Forest-Water Connections to Achieve the SDGs” under sub-theme 6 of the XV World Forestry Congress  illustrates the many and complex forest-water interlinkages that exist. Understanding their synergies and tradeoffs is central  to achieving all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Through this WFC session, the organizers CIFOR/ICRAF, SIWI Swedish Water House and UNEP, who are also part of the Forest-Water Champions, wish to highlight advances in research, best practices and ultimately stress that the forest and water nexus must be increasingly taken into account if we are to achieve the SDGs and successfully adapt to and mitigate climate change. To this end, they have published this call to action encouraging all to: 


  • Ensure ecosystem restoration approaches that consider forest-water-climate-people relationships and the multiple water-related services that forests and trees provide to achieve the SDGs.
  • Integrate forest-water management in broader landscape approaches that acknowledge the human and climate dimensions, their multifunctionality, trade-offs and plural values and objectives. 
  • Strengthen and develop policies that take into account the forest-water nexus and the water-related services that forests and trees provide to humans, especially in the context of climate change.
  • Foster collaboration and integration between sectors for climate resilient economies and communities that acknowledge the forest-water– climate – people system
  • Increase and promote communications, conversations, research, lessons from actions on the ground, and monitoring approaches that include citizen science to fill in knowledge gaps and to support better decision in management and policymaking.
  • Develop or adapt restoration targets and initiatives so they go beyond biophysical aspects to include socioeconomic aspects to better contextualize forest-water relationships.
  • Promote spring shed management to implement programs on freshwater ecosystems including cryosphere, watersheds and springsheds adopting river- basin management in transboundary scale.

To access the session brief and call for action please click HERE