Visions for the world’s forests – the role of water in forests in Sweden and in the world.

Photo courtesy Hege (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Visions for the world’s forests – the role of water in forests in Sweden and in the world.

Focali researcher Eskil Mattsson participated in a seminar on “Forests’ role for water in Sweden and the world”.

Blog written by Focali researcher Eskil Mattsson.

The seminar was hosted by the Swedish Water House and is the first in a series of seminars that will add up to a synthesis on Swedish interventions. During the seminar several presentations were held on the relationship between forests-water in relation to governance, management and markets.


The morning session kick-off with a presentations highlighting how sustainable forest governance is key to avoid abrupt non-linear changes or tipping points of ecosystem services. The second presentation focused on ongoing global initiatives and measures needed to restore degraded forest lands using landscape approaches. Another presentation brought up examples of how a landscape approach can be used for the sustainable use of forests and water resources in a municipality in Northern Sweden.

In the afternoon, presentations were more focused on markets and value chains and the role of Swedish knowledge to bridge gaps to a more sustainable use of forests by including small scale farmers.

Concluding discussion

A final group discussion in the afternoon focused on visions for the world’s forests and the role of the optimal forested landscapes. Questions in focus were:

· What can restored landscapes mean for biodiversity, climate and poverty reduction?

· What types of forested landscapes do we need?

· What are the key issues (methods, activities) for water in sustainable forest management?

· What is the role of protected/unprotected forests?


Based on the questions above, the concluding discussion raised a number of issues, for example:

· There is a clear connection between climate/poverty/water and it is essential to view forest through a landscape perspective.

· Good governance and secure tenure needs to be in place to provide sustainable forested landscape and water resources.

· Payment incentive systems such as REDD+ or PES can add co-benefits but can itself not provide sufficient and sustainable source of payments.

· The role of Swedish knowledge transfer in water management can be used in other countries and it is important to identify such options.

· Sustainable water management in forested landscapes can also bring sustainability in other ways.

· It is important to develop and support markets and value chains for small-scale farmers.

· Using and integrating resources and knowledge of larger companies with small-scale farmers and communities are key.

· Capacity building and involvement of local communities and farmers in processes are essential to provide other sustainable alternatives and ownership.

· It is vital to draw knowledge from success cases and old experiences but hard to generalize between different cultural, socio-ecological settings and biophysical settings.

· Enforcement of existing laws is often a barrier to sustainable forest and water management.

· Different conflicts and interests between sectors and interests need to be accounted for.


For more info about the seminar see:



Subscribe to our newsletter