A report released at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) finds that sustainably managing the world’s forests will be key to ensuring safe and sustainable water supplies for all. The publication titled, ‘Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities,’ presents a global assessment of scientific information on the interactions between forests and water.

With 40% of the world’s population affected by water scarcity and climate change threatening to increase the frequency of both floods and droughts in vulnerable areas, the publication highlights that the role of forests in the water cycle is as important as their role in the carbon cycle, especially in the face of climate change. In addition to being the lungs of the planet, the authors write, they also act as kidneys.