Tool risk reduction measures


Afforestation in headwater areas and on hillslopes-image

Afforestation in headwater areas and on hillslopes

  • Description
  • Fields of action
  • Synergies
  • Good practice examples
  • References

Headwaters are the source areas for rivers and streams, crucial for sustaining the structure, function, productivity and complexity of downstream ecosystems. In areas of high relief, afforestation of headwater catchments can contribute to slope stabilization and may reduce the risks associated with landslides.

Fields of action Forests
Additionally to flood risk reduction by slowing and storing surface runoff, the measure has medium or high possible benefits for the following biophysical impacts and ecosystem services: Increase evapotranspiration; Increase infiltration and/or groundwater recharge; Increase soil water retention; Reduce pollutant sources; Intercept pollution pathways; Reduce erosion and/or sediment delivery; Create terrestrial habitats; Absorb and/or retain CO2; Natural biomass production; Biodiversity preservation; Climate change adaptation and mitigation; Filtration of pollutants; Recreational opportunities; Aesthetic/cultural value; Improve soils; Create riparian habitat; Reduce peak temperature; Water storage



Sabine Scharfe, Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology