Global Scientific Assessment on Interactions between Forests and Water Well Underway

Water provision and filtering, conservation of soils and climate regulation are among the many services connected to trees and forests, influenced by the interactions between forests and water.

While numerous scientific publications and studies are available on “forests and water“ the scientific information has not yet been systematically assessed and synthesized globally. This is exactly what the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Water is currently doing with the main aim of contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. The outcomes will provide input to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development and its session in New York in July 2018 and also be of major relevance to other international forums and bodies.

For information about the Panel, visit: 

The Panel was established in early 2017 after the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) had tasked the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) with carrying out a global scientific assessment on the interlinkages between forests and water. It is composed of 23 internationally renowned scientists from prestigious universities and research institutions from all over the world and jointly chaired by Irena Creed, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and Meine van Noordwijk, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), South-East Asia Regional Office, Indonesia.

Find a full list of Panel members here: 

"The Expert Panel aims to address the full hydrological cycle and all types of vegetation with trees and will take stock of both the established concepts as well as emerging ideas", explained co-chair Irena Creed during the second Panel meeting in October 2017 at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. "The outcome shall be comprehensive, as bold as possible, and forward looking, though it will not advocate specific positions", she confirmed. Panel members are about to finalize their draft chapter texts for the report by the end of 2017 and will get together for a third meeting in Vienna, Austria from 17-19 January 2018. The outcomes of the assessment will include a comprehensive, peer-reviewed full assessment report and a summary for policy makers or ‘policy brief’ highlighting the main key messages.

The two publications will be launched at the session of the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2018 and contribute to the discussions on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 15. On the way towards the completion of the study several international events, such as the 13th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests from 7-11 May 2018 in New York, USA, will offer opportunities to inform about the progress and expected outcomes of the assessment.

About the GFEP initiative of the CPF: 

Photo: Second Panel meeting in Leeds, UK. Photo by Andre Purret (IUFRO-GFEP)

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