Forests, Water and Livelihoods
Forest and water issues have hit the news headlines over the past months. “Down with Trees” became one of the slogans after the release of the DFID report “From the Mountain to the Tap” and the FAO/CIFOR publication “Forests and Floods”. The excitement may be brought back to the simple observations that trees use water and that heavy rainfall causes floods.
The balance of public perceptions is swinging back and forth – from exaggerated expectations of what trees and reforestation can achieve (actively promoted as part of a ‘conservation’ agenda) and from false attribution of any downstream problem with water flows to the ‘deforestation’ activities by upland land users, we may go to the other extreme of ignoring the positive values of maintaining forested landscapes and well buffered river systems with riparian forests and wetlands.
The articles in this newsletter are grouped under four headings:
1. Perception gaps around forest and water, and multistakeholder negotiations
2. Highlights in forest hydrology
3. Livelihood issues and payments for environmental services
4 Case studies, including the special cases of peat swamp forests and riparian forests interacting with fish production