Connecting countries to climate technology solutions
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Russian Spanish Yoruba

Riparian buffers

Publication date:
Type of publication:

To access the full technology description, please refer to the Document link above


Riparian buffers are strips of vegetation along the banks of waterways (lakes, rivers, streams, etc.) that protect the water from potential pollutants from the surrounding land area, such as those from agricultural land and activities. Riparian buffers stop sediments and pollutants through biological processes in which the vegetation actively absorbs the nutrients, or physiochemical processes in which nutrients, other pollutants and sediments bind to the soil or clay in the buffers. The buffers are predominately forested with native trees, but can also contain smaller native bushes and shrubs.

Riparian buffers are often naturally present, but they are under pressure in many areas due to human activities such as urbanization and agriculture. They can also be “man-made” when trees and shrub seedlings are planted along waterways to catalyse the growth of a buffer zone. The area can also be left untouched to encourage natural regeneration, although this may take a long time and species composition cannot be as controlled.…