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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Evidence-based policy for integrated control of forested river catchments in extreme rainfall and snowmelt


The impact of forest management on extreme floods is an area in which there is considerable scientific uncertainty as well as poorly conceived policy. EPIC FORCE aims to improve the integrated management of forest and water resources at the river basin sca le through the development of policies based on sound science, focusing on extreme rainfall/snowmelt events. It will link scientific, management and policy research by: 1) developing a generic model for the impact of management practices on basin response to extreme rainfall; 2) developing improved strategies for integrated forest and water management relevant to extreme events; 3) developing evidence-based policy recommendations for national agencies and for the EU and World Bank. The focus areas are four Latin American countries, which represent a range of humid forest and rainfall/snowmelt regimes with major flood and erosion problems and which suffer from a lack of integrated water and forest policies.The generic model will be derived using existing adva nced modelling technology and data from the focus areas: it will examine the hypothesis that, as the size of the flood peak increases, the effect of land use becomes less important. The improved management strategies will be developed from reviews of curre nt management and of best practice, from model scenario applications and from field studies. The policy recommendations will be developed by proposing improvements to the basis of existing national policies in the focus countries in the light of the modell ing and management studies. Crucial participants will be the national forest and water resource agencies, which will receive the project technologies. EPIC FORCE will improve our understanding of forest ecosystem dynamics (for extreme rainfall events) unde r human pressure (from logging and forest conversion), allowing a more sustainable use of water and forest resources. It will support the efficient and well-directed use of limited development resources.

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