A major new report released on Tuesday at the United Nations reveals the critical role healthy forests play in stopping the water crises unfolding in Africa and worldwide.
The expansive report of 50 experts from 14 countries reveals that when forests are chopped down, they disrupt regional rainfall patterns with ramifications for those who live close by and 'downwind' from the destroyed forests.
Three experts from South Africa contributed to the report.
Speaking John Maytham, CSIR chief researcher, Global Change Institute, WITS Dr Emma Archer says South Africa has a range of issues.
What was interesting was that South African case studies played a key role. Forests play something of a different role, but we have the same challenge in a sense in that we have to find a way to protect our forests and also to manage our forests within landscapes.— Dr Emma Archer, CSIR chief researcher, Global Change Institute, WITS
She adds that forests and water are highly interactive and given that we have an increasing water scarcity in South Africa, managing forests for water becomes increasingly important.
One of our biggest issues is alien trees, and one of the interesting cases in South Africa, of course, is something like the working for water initiative where we clear alien invasive species partly as a way to improve water provision.— Dr Emma Archer, CSIR chief researcher, Global Change Institute, WITS
Listen below to the full interview on the findings of the research...