• Arxada
  • Bell
  • FSC
  • Hin-Tech Manufacturing
  • John Deere
  • Khulani Timber Industries
  • LESH
  • Loadtech Load Cells
  • Ponsse
  • Rance Timbers
  • Sappi
  • SAWPA
  • SSA
  • UCL Sawmill
  • Wood-Mizer
  • Wuhlf

Post: International Day of Forests and World Water Day 2023

Forests to the rescue

Africa needs its forests to address its ever-growing water crisis.

As the saying goes in Uganda, ‘you know the usefulness of a well when it dries up.’ Africa’s wells are drying up, and the water crisis is predicted to become a catastrophe by 2025. Across the continent, many cities and villages are experiencing severe water shortages. Nowhere was this more evident than in 2018, when the world watched as Cape Town came frighteningly close to Day Zero, a point at which the city would run out of water.

According to a United Nations report for 2021, climate change, prolonged droughts, and erratic rainfall have disrupted water cycles, leaving some five hundred million people in 19 African countries vulnerable to water insecurity.

As the climate changes and the continent’s population grows, pressure on Africa’s water resources will increase. A changing climate affects the regulation of water flows and rainfall, as well as changing landscapes and ecosystems. 

Forests to combat water threats As we celebrate International Day of Forests on the 21 March  and  World Water Day the very next  day (22 March), we are reminded resoundingly  that to tackle this threat,  Africa needs its forests.

Many African cities rely on forested watersheds for their water supplies. Forests are natural water filtration systems that reduce soil erosion, sedimentation, and pollutants. African forests have shown that they can also play an increasingly important role in mitigating climate change if managed responsibly.

As seen in numerous Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified forests, responsibly managed forests contribute to reducing soil erosion, restoring watersheds, and restoring and rehabilitating areas prone to land degradation.

Thanks to FSC’s robust standards, certified forest managers continually improve, preserve, and protect forest landscapes, and their biodiversity.

Helping forest managers measure and improve forests

In 2018, the FSC introduced a procedure to measure, demonstrate, and communicate the positive impacts of responsible forest management, the Ecosystems Services Procedure.

Ecosystem services are benefits humans receive from nature, including reliable clean water flows, productive soils, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration.

This solution encourages forest managers to develop, measure, and demonstrate how they improve the forest environments they are responsibly managing. The solution focuses on assessing the impacts of forest management on carbon sequestration and storage, biodiversity conservation, watershed services, soil conservation, and recreational services. For more information on  FCS Ecosystem Services: https://fsc.org/en/ecosystem-services-for-forest-managers

Since the launch of the solution, it has helped FSC-certified forest management units in South Africa and Namibia document and demonstrate the impact of their work on forest ecosystems. In Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and Gabon, assessments are underway.

According to independent audits, the model is quite beneficial to watersheds.

In South Africa, along the banks of the Breed River (Western Cape) and in Matatiele (Eastern Cape), 96 hectares of degraded land have been restored to more natural conditions, and 501,600 m3 of water have been restored to the catchment areas in these verified forest management units per annum.

Partnership is key

To combat the water crisis, partnership is key. No single stakeholder or partner can accomplish at scale the restoration and protection of forest landscapes and water resources, enough to eradicate the prevalent water crisis in Africa.

At FSC, we work with forest stewards and committed stakeholders to foster partnerships that promote the protection of ecosystems. For as is said in South Africa, ‘a river runs deep because of its source’.

Written By: Dr Peter Alele, FSC Africa Director

Contact: FSC

  • Afrequip
  • Latschbacher
  • Alternative Structures Logo
  • Ezigro Seedlings
  • Foresta Timber & Board
  • Husqvarna
  • Kwamahlati Training Services
  • Logmech
  • Merensky
  • Mondi
  • Those who grow alone, die alone: why transformation is strategic for the MTO Group
  • NCT
  • Pangolin
  • Patula Risk
  • Sabie Poles
  • SAFCOL
  • Saw Specialists
  • Stihl
  • Sunshine Seedling Services
  • Treated Timber Products
  • TWK
  • WoodBiz Africa
  • Afrequip
  • Latschbacher
  • Alternative Structures Logo
  • Arxada
  • Bell
  • Ezigro Seedlings
  • Foresta Timber & Board
  • FSC
  • Hin-Tech Manufacturing
  • Husqvarna
  • John Deere
  • Khulani Timber Industries
  • Kwamahlati Training Services
  • LESH
  • Loadtech Load Cells
  • Logmech
  • Merensky
  • Mondi
  • Those who grow alone, die alone: why transformation is strategic for the MTO Group
  • NCT
  • Pangolin
  • Patula Risk
  • Ponsse
  • Rance Timbers
  • Sabie Poles
  • SAFCOL
  • Sappi
  • Saw Specialists
  • SAWPA
  • SSA
  • Stihl
  • Sunshine Seedling Services
  • Treated Timber Products
  • TWK
  • UCL Sawmill
  • Wood-Mizer
  • WoodBiz Africa
  • Wuhlf

Business Directory Registration Enquiry

We are proud to have been marketing businesses large and small for the past 25 years. As our online business directory is strictly industry related only businesses related to the forestry / timber value chain will be listed.
Your Name(Required)
Once you submit your details we will get in touch with you to advise on the way forward.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

* indicates required

International Day of Forests and World Water Day 2023

Contact Form

Name(Required)