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Celebrating the valuable presents from forests

Forests maintain water quality, regulate surface and ground water flows, and help to mitigate the risks of water-related disasters. Forests and water are closely connected and mutually interdependent. The way we manage our forests is key to the quality of the water we drink, to protect us from natural hazards such as landslides, floods and droughts and to ensure the productivity of our lands while also protecting wildlife that is dependent on suitable riparian habitats. As global demand for freshwater rises and water grows scarcer, land managers and policy-makers need to balance the trade-offs between the benefits provided by forests and forest-induced changes in water availability. For many years the free availability of water has been taken for granted, and the role that forests play in the provision of water and aquatic habitat was underestimated or neglected. The assessment and economic valuation of forest ecosystem services are important steps to make the benefits we all receive from forests visible.

International Day of Forests, on Monday 21 March 2016, will be celebrated at the Palais des Nations with a workshop (register here) and an exhibition on “Forests and Water”, the theme of this year’s edition. This event is jointly organised by the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, the UNECE Secretariat of the Water Convention and its Protocol on Water and Health, the Housing and Land Management Unit and the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, with the support of the Government of Finland and the Swiss Confederation to raise awareness on the multiple links between forest and water through examples and best practices.

The workshop will feature country experiences and case studies emphasizing the interrelationship between forests and water and the role of forests in delivering these priceless gifts.

For more information and registration, please visit: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=41874#/