This article was originally published on Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
“New research has revealed a multitude of ways in which forests create rain and cool local climates, urging a closer look at forests’ capabilities beyond just climate change mitigation. In a recent paper, 22 researchers from as many diverse institutions, call for a paradigm shift in the way the international community views forests and trees, from a carbon-centric model to one that recognizes their importance in cross-continental water cycles, as well as at the local scale.
“People are used to hearing the idea that forests are really important, but we now have a much deeper insight into why the loss of forest cover can have such a huge impact on water availability- especially for people downwind,” says study co-author Douglas Sheil from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. “The links are so much stronger than people previously thought. And if policymakers and land use planners are not aware of that, that’s a huge shortfall in decision making.”…”