Forests around the world are in need of protection, as they provide a variety of ecosystem services that support and sustain us.
This year the International Day of Forests will celebrate the ways in which forests and trees are key to the planet’s supply of freshwater – which is critical for our survival.
Understanding the important linkages between forests and water, climate change and sustainable livelihoods will help raise awareness for their protection and help people find both innovative and practical solutions to protect them.
Here are 7 important facts about the linkages between forests and clean water supply (according to the FAO)
1. Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs
2. About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas
3. Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population – 8 out of 10 people – is exposed to high levels of threat to water security
4. Forests act as natural water filters
5. Climate change is altering forests’ role in regulating water flows and influencing the availability of water resources
6. Improved water resource management can show considerable economic gains
7. Forests have a crucial role in building and strengthening resilience