Planting trees seems like sensible choice when it comes to mitigating climate change, but crucial aspects of the relationships between trees and climate have so far been overlooked in climate research, the new review Trees, forests and water: cool insights for a hot world concludes. The authors suggest that the global conversation on trees, forests and climate needs to be turned on its head: the direct effects of trees on the climate via rainfall and cooling may be more important than the well-studied effects through the global carbon balance. Yet, current climate policy tends to focus on carbon.

Therefore, on the occasion of the International Day of Forests (21 March) and World Water Day (22 March), the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is hosting a virtual symposium on the linkages of forests, water and climate. For more information please read our blog, download the paper, and download the symposium flyer.


Aster Gebrekirstos

ICRAF, Erlangen University

Tree rings, stable isotopes and hydro-climate

Cindy Morris

France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)

Biological rainfall triggers

Daniel Murdiyarso

CIFOR, Bogor Agricultural University

Relevance for global climate policies

David Ellison

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)


Douglas Sheil

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Theories of an even more direct agency of forests

Elaine Springgay


FAO forest and water policy analysis

Jan Pokorný

ENKI, Czech Republic

Earth surface temperature imagery

Meine van Noordwijk

ICRAF, Wageningen University

Rainbow water and teleconnections

Michael Marshall


Evapotranspiration in East Africa as basis of recycled rainfall elsewhere

Peter Holmgren

CIFOR Director General

Opening remarks

Tony Simons

ICRAF Director General

Closing remarks

Victoria Gutierrez


Implications for forest landscape restoration

Vincent Gitz


Consequences for an exciting research program


Beria Leimona


Peter Minang