Recordings from the “Cool insights for a hot world: trees and forests recycle water and modify climate” virtual symposium are now available. Watch the full video from each day, or view each speaker’s presentation separately.

The event saw 11 speakers cover topics ranging from forests in global climate policy to rainbow water and teleconnections as well as implications for forest landscape restoration, as well as opening remarks from CIFOR Director General Peter Holmgren and closing remarks from ICRAF Director General Tony Simons.

Day 1 featured opening remarks from CIFOR’s director general as well as presentations such as “Biological rainfall triggers” from Cindy Morris, “Tree rings, stable isotopes and hydroclimate” from Aster Gebrekirstos and more.

On Day 2, speakers included Douglas Sheil on the topic of “Forests for rain: new ideas, new opportunities” and Victoria Gutierrez on “Implications for forest landscape restoration”, before closing remarks from ICRAF’s director general.


The symposium, which took place on March 21-22, featured a number of the authors of the recently published Trees, forests and water: Cool insights for a hot world research paper on the linkages between forests, water and climate.

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.

For more information on the symposium theme, and the relationship between trees and climate, read our blogs:

The participants and presenters also addressed numerous queries that arose in question and answer sessions. Along with the presentation recordings, the full Q&A is now available for viewing.

Those who participated noted the value of bringing together speakers to share their insights on the recent findings, which have shed new light on the role of forests and trees in the climate debate.


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