Forests play a key role in the global water cycle and the protection of water resources.
  • During the wet season, forests act as giant sponges, soaking up rainfall and storing water. In the dry season, this water is slowly released into rivers and streams, and into underground aquifers. This supports vital water resources for drinking water, agriculture and other uses.
  • Around one-third of world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of drinking water directly from forests in protected areas.
  • The State of the World’s Forests Report 2014 estimates that 764 million people rely on fuelwood to boil their water. In some cases, this may be the only source of drinking water available.
  • Forests provide water storage systems that supply an estimated 75% of usable water.
The CIFOR Strategy 2016-2025 aligns CIFOR’s research with the Sustainable Development Goals, to put CIFOR’s work into the context of the new climate and development agenda.

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