En l'abstract de l'informe, l'agència de les Nacions Unides diu:
There is a tendency to blame all natural disasters on human abuse of the natural environment. This is no more evident than in the case of devastating floods and landslides that affect the personal and economic fortunes of millions of people every year. Each disaster is followed by a predictable response. Upland farmers and loggers are blamed for clearing and degrading forests. In many people’s minds the use and abuse of forests in upland watersheds represents the main cause of massive lowland floods. This booklet explores the scientific evidence linking floods and forests. It distinguishes fact from fiction and recommends alternative approaches for effective watershed and flood plain management. Ultimately, the publication aims to better inform policy-makers, development agencies and the media, and so constructively contribute to the development of sound watershed and river-basin management and improved flood-mitigation policies.