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Forests and Water

International Momentum and Action








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    Book (series)
    Forests and water
    A thematic study prepared in the framework of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005
    2008
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    The availability and quality of clean water in many regions of the world is more and more threatened by overuse, misuse and pollution. In this context, the relationship between forests and water must be accorded high priority. Forested catchments supply a high proportion of the water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs in both upstream and downstream areas. A key challenge faced by land, forest and water managers is to maximize the benefits that forests provide without detriment to water resources and ecosystem function. There is an urgent need for a better understanding of the interface of forests and trees with water and for embedding this knowledge in policies. This study, initiated in the context of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005, highlights the need for holistic management of complex watershed ecosystems taking into account interactions among water, forest and other land uses as well as socio-economic factors. It explains the role of forests in the hydrological cycle, with a particular focus on critical, “red flag” forest situations such as mountainous or steep terrain, river and coastal areas and swamp ecosystems, as well as the special case of mountainous small islands. It addresses the protection of municipal water supplies and emerging systems of payment for watershed services. This state-of-knowledge publication will be of interest to a broad range of technical experts, scientis ts and decision-makers.
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    Project
    Payment schemes for environmental services in watersheds 2004
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    Payment schemes for environmental services (PES) are innovative instruments for natural resources management which are increasingly being applied in Latin America. In a watershed context, PES schemes generally involve the implementation of market mechanisms to compensate upstream landowners in order to maintain or modify a particular land use that is affecting the availability and/or quality of the water resources for downstream users. The Regional Forum on Payment Schemes for Environmental Serv ices in Watersheds was held during the Third Latin American Congress on Watershed Management (Arequipa, Peru, 9–13 June 2003) to exchange experiences with these schemes in Latin America and to formulate recommendations for the economic valuation of water-related services, as well as the design and execution of PES schemes in watersheds. This report summarizes the lessons and recommendations of the forum. The complete documentation, including 19 papers, 22 presentations and case studies, is inclu ded on the CD-ROM that accompanies this publication.
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    Book (series)
    Dam design and operation to optimize fish production in impounded river basins 1984
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    A series of guidelines is presented which is intended to aid dam design and operating engineers to manipulate the artificial aquatic environments upstream and downstream so as to optimize fish production. The guidelines are based on reviews and in some cases new analyses of the known effects of dam design and operation on African reservoirs, downstream river channels and coastal marine habitats. The study indicates that the following dam design or operational features are desirable: maximum poss ible crest elevation; discharge structure intakes positioned at highest possible elevation; artificial reoxygenation of tailrace discharge water; annual water level fluctuation of the reservoir to be within the range of 2.5–4.0 m and drawdown rate not to exceed 0.6 m/month; and downstream discharge to include an annual artificial flood event. Installation of fish ladders is generally not recommended. An incomplete register of 320 large dams/reservoirs in Africa was assembled, but the actual numb er is thought to be between 600 and 800. The combined surface area is about 41 000 km2 at full capacity. The historical trend of dam construction in Africa was examined. Key words: large dams, reservoirs, dam engineering, drawdown, environmental impact, impounded rivers, lagoons, estuaries, coastal erosion, aquatic macrophytes, bivalves, fish biology, fisheries, Africa.

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