Programa sobre los bosques y el agua

International Day of Forests and World Water Day: Valuing forest restoration and water (Este recurso solo está disponible en inglés)


    It is estimated that in the last 30 years, 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses. Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates. This, in turn, has a significant impact on the ecosystem services that forests provide. Considering this scenario, it is extremely important to improve forest management for the provision of ecosystem services by promoting forest restoration activities that are aligned with international goals and frameworks, such as the Bonn Challenge and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This year, the International Day of Forests spotlights this topic, focusing on forest resilience and its services, under the theme “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being"

    Restoration of forested areas can, for example, play an important role in the quality, timing, and quantity of one of the most important resources we have: water. Forest restoration can therefore, increase the environmental, economic and socio-cultural value of water, especially in previously degraded areas. How we value water, coincidentally the 2021 World Water Day theme, influences how we manage our forests and water resources, making forest-water relationships key to building resilient landscapes and societies.  

    Forest restoration, focusing on water ecosystem services provided by forests, can increase food and water security, support biodiversity and positively influence our health and recreation. However, how do we ensure forest restoration approaches succeed and increase the resilience of forests and their ability to provide water benefits?

  • Promoting inclusive restoration, taking all actors and sectors into account, and empowering communities to advance local solutions. The maintenance and improvement of water quantity and quality provided by healthy forests impacts a range of sectors, such as fisheries, agriculture, and tourism among others. For example, forests maintain and support aquatic biodiversity and important fisheries by providing shade, protecting the soil from erosion, acting as a chemical buffer, and providing nutritious terrestrial inputs. Many fisheries are important for local economies as they bring in recreational fishers and are a major food source for communities.
  • Investing in Capacity development to improve our understanding of forest-water relationships and management implications. Further guidance and support on capacity development can be found in the following resources:

Advancing the forest and water nexus: A capacity development facilitation guide: provides background information, resource materials and a facilitation plan to support capacity development programme on the forest-water nexus.

LoCoFoRest training programme: gives participants the skills and knowledge to make forest and landscape restoration scalable and to take advantage of new value chains.

SFM toolbox: provides general guidance on water management priorities in forests, as well as links to key tools and case studies of effective water management in forests.

  •  Monitoring forest-water interactions to support decision-making. The following tools were developed to support monitoring actions, and can be easily applied and adapted to specific contexts:

Blue Targeting Tool: supports best management practices in forestry along small streams

Forest & Landscape Water Ecosystem Services (FL-WES) Tool: helps people better monitor, measure, and manage the relationship between forests and water.


Forest restoration that considers cross-sectoral and inclusive approaches, capacity development, monitoring actions and the sustainable management of the forest-water nexus, has the potential to enhance landscape resilience and increase the value of water while creating a path to recovery and well-being.