Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France




Organizers : WeForest
Date : June 8th till June 10th
Location : KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Expected number of participants : 1-50
Nature of participants : scientists, policy makers
Keywords : Forests, Water, Climate change
Keynote speakers :
  • Jane Cohen, School of Law, University of Texas, USA.
  • David Ellison, Climate Politics of Forestry and Water, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden and Independent Expert Consultant.
  • Bruno Locatelli, Center for International Forestry Research and Agricultural Research for Development, France.
  • Cindy Morris, Research Director, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, France.
  • Daniel Murdiyarso, Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia.
  • Douglas Sheil, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Norway.



WeForest, an international reforestation NGO, in partnership with KU Leuven, intends to bring together scientists and policy-makers to achieve greater clarity in our understanding of the central role forests play in supporting basic climate system processes crucial for the water cycle and the quality of human life.

The goal is to stimulate debate that will foster greater scientific clarity and consensus on the benefits of forests for the water cycle. To contribute to a solution-based approach, the meeting seeks to provide policy makers with clear information that can mobilise them toward building strategies for addressing issues such as climate change, adaptation, resilience, water management and land use planning.

With these goals in mind, we intend to bring together a select group of 40-50 scientists for a 3-day workshop planned for the 8-10 June in Belgium.


Forests are major contributors to maintaining global climate equilibria. Earth’s forests are constantly menaced by human activities even though their role in maintaining and promoting regional and continental precipitation and water availability, in cooling the Earth’s surface, and in cleaning and purifying both water and the air we breathe, is central to the health of the planet and to establishing the basic conditions for life. The past century of research has contributed greatly to our fundamental understanding of the role of forests in Earth’s biosphere, but scientific disagreements and misunderstandings about the basic features of forests and competing land use strategies persist, thereby making it difficult to effectively protect forests. With increasing water scarcity, climate change and greater demands placed on forest resources, improved knowledge about these fundamental relationships is of rapidly intensifying importance. Lack of clarity on these issues is a major constraint to policy-making that seeks to optimize both the ecosystem services and economic benefits of forests.


The 3-day workshop programme will

1) Elucidate the current state of knowledge on the importance of forests for water and other Earth system processes

2) Outline a policy brief on how this role of forests is or could be addressed in existing and potential policy frameworks.

3) Form a working group that will collaborate virtually on a policy brief to be presented at the Global Landscape Forum in Paris (Dec 15), on the sidelines of the UNFCCC COP21.

Beyond June’s meeting

In addition to presenting the policy brief outcomes at the global landscape forum, WeForest is planning to convene a Paris corporate COP21 side event in December. By presenting the policy brief and engaging relevant stakeholders, the goal is to empower the private sector to take positive action towards climate change, particularly in relation to landscape restoration solutions. Details regarding the event are still being finalised at the time of writing.

Steering Committee

David Ellison, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Independent Expert Consultant.

Bruno Locatelli, CIFOR and CIRAD.

Cindy Morris, French National Institute for Agricultural Research.

More information

You will find more information on this side event on the event webpage.
Contact : Victoria Gutierrez,