Forests and Water

Valuation and Payments for Forest Ecosystem Services

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The objectives of this study are to further improve our understanding about the ways in which payments for ecosystem services schemes can be applied to forests, in particular focusing on forest’s hydrological functions for the mutual benefit of both humans and the environment. In addition, the study covers advances and challenges facing these schemes and provides practical guidance for policymakers and practitioners. This study contains the most comprehensive currently available database of case studies on forest-water related payment for ecosystem services schemes in the UNECE region.



Executive summary

Forests play an important role in producing and regulating freshwater flws, and forested watersheds are essential for sustaining freshwater supply. The SDGs related to water (SDG 6) and land (SDG 15) explicitly acknowledge the linkages between forests and water. Forest management and planning will increasingly need to allow for the consideration of water-related issues, as well as to strategically implement these issues to optimize watershed services, such as water purification, surface flw regulation and erosion control. Such innovations require an enabling legislative framework, as well as decision makers who understand the functioning of payment for ecosystem services (PES) schemes in the context of forests and water.


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