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Conference Themes

Forests and water: the role of arts, humanities, and communication

Philosophy, stories, poems, music, and art help us understand and communicate how to live well on Earth. This theme invites contributions of art, music, writing, poetry, and other forms of communication that reflect on the meaning of water in the forest ecosystem. Of particular interest will be the relation to human culture and how this evolves over time from different cultural and community perspectives, including those of youth.

The 2030 Agenda framework for forests and waters

The global development goals of Agenda 2030 present a new framework for fostering sustainable development that links social, economic and environmental dimensions of waters and forests. This theme invites papers that explore opportunities for following through on policies that recognize the importance of those linkages.

Forest ecosystems, water and climate change adaptation

Climate change is expected to modify the amount and spatio-temporal distribution of water for forest ecosystems, and alter forest species and water supply functions. Forest management may mitigate or exacerbate these effects. This theme addresses interactions among climate change, extreme events (droughts and floods), forest water use, and forest ecosystem structure and function, with recommendations for how government, industry, and communities might increase the adaptive capacity of forests to climate change.

Forest certification, government policy and water resources

Climate change is expected to intensify both floods and drought. Forest ecosystems and water use may respond to climate change, while forest management may alter local climate and water. This session addresses interactions among climate change, forest water use, and forest ecosystem structure and function, with recommendations for managing forests to adapt to climate change.

Ecosystem service tradeoffs involving water from native forests and plantations

Differences in land ownership and management objectives among forest management institutions (government, industry, communities) create trade‐offs between goods vs. water ecosystem services. This theme invites papers describing forest management approaches that balance timber production vs. water provision or other competing goods and ecosystem services at multiple scales, including plantations or native forests, multi-ownership landscapes, and countries.

Aquatic and Riparian Biodiversity – forest ecosystem-stream connections

Forests and freshwaters are reciprocally connected by flows of water, nutrients, organisms, sediment, propagules, and wood. These connections influence the ecology and diversity of freshwaters and riparian systems. This theme invites papers that reveal how forest-freshwater connections relate to biodiversity across a range of managed and native forest ecosystems.

Social aspects of watershed management and monitoring

Forest watershed management involves balancing economic, environmental, and social issues. This theme welcomes papers on social aspects of watershed and water resources management in forested landscapes including citizen science; forest- and water-dependent livelihoods; collaborative arrangements among large companies, governments, and small forest landowners; co-management agreements involving governments and communities; and research examining these topics.

Agroforestry and water

Agroforestry provides multiple ecosystem functions, services and products, and may contribute to mitigation and adaptation in a climate change world. This theme addresses the interactions between agroforestry systems and water, such as shelter trees and other microclimate regulation, trees as natural filters, runoff regulation and flood control, riparian buffer management, soil water content and water table, and climate change.

Forest ecosystem restoration for aquatic ecosystem services

Forest restoration and reforestation may improve water provision and streamflow regulation. This theme addresses experiences, limitations, challenges, costs, as well as ecologic, social and economic benefits from restoration and reforestation projects aimed to increase water ecosystem services in degraded landscapes, considering different temporal and spatial scales as well as various regional, social and cultural contexts.

Forests in the food-water-energy nexus

Forests may play a central role in mitigating competing demands for food, water and energy. This theme invites papers on all aspects of forests in the food-water-energy nexus, especially those that address how biophysical and management aspects of watersheds affect integration and production of forest, water, food and energy.

Modeling and decision support systems linking forest hydrology, management, and policy

Science-based decision-support tools are needed by land managers and policy makers to deal with increasing forest ecosystem service demands in systems undergoing environmental change. This theme welcomes case studies that demonstrate the importance and development of modeling tools in water management decision making which synthesize the emerging understanding of how the water regime in forested areas varies with tree species, stand age, climate, and management.

The Forest-Water Network: planning tools

In recent years, FAO, the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Swedish Forest Agency have been collaborating on raising awareness on forest/water interactions, advocacy, and the development of practical tools that bridge science, practice and policy. The aim of this session is to share progress made and to interact with participants on how to improve on actions that integrate science, practice and policy related to forests and water at multiple scales, in particular at the landscape level. FAO and SIWI, together with numerous international experts from the forest and water sectors, are interested in addressing the next steps with participant input. Tools that will be demonstrated and discussed include: Monitoring the Forest and Water Nexus, and The Blue Targeting Tool. Presentations by invitation only - no contributed presentations.