The Pacific Community (SPC) wants better forest management to develop a region more resilient to climate change.
Speaking on the theme "Forests and Water" for this year's international day of forests SPC's director general says forests act as natural water filters by helping to prevent soil erosion and lessen sedimentation in water bodies.
Colin Tukuitonga says when trees are cut down, land areas are vulnerable to erosion, increasing the effects of flooding during the rainy season and drought in the dry season.
He says the SPC is urging countries around the region to better manage their forest resources.
"Our scientists are working with many partners to demonstrate successful water and sanitation solutions and sustainable forest management measures. Demonstrated wins need to be replicated while development partnerships are expanded."
Colin Tukuitinga says forests help countries better adapt to climate change by protecting coastal areas, farm land and water catchments, and by providing wood for shelter and housing and a source of medicine and food.