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Urban Action

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Forests 4 Cities

By 2050, two-thirds of humanity will live in urban areas. As cities grow, so too will climate and food-related challenges. Urban and peri-urban trees and forests are part of the solutions.

Key areas of work  

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Trees in Cities Challenge 


While cities are responsible for an estimated 75% of all carbon dioxide emissions globally, they are also particularly vulnerable to climate change, which is driving an increase in stress, floods, droughts and other impacts in and around cities, the urban and peri-urban areas. Nature-based solutions like urban trees and forests can simultaneously reduce the carbon footprint of cities and increase their resilience.

Since 2019, UNECE’s Joint ECE/FAO Section on Forestry and Timber has been working with cities on high-impact nature-based solutions and launched the Trees in Cities Challenge. It invites mayors and local governments to make a tree planting pledge to support greener, more sustainable, healthier, food secure and climate resilient cities.

UNECE’s Informal Network of Experts on Sustainable Urban- and Peri-Urban Forestry was established in 2021 to provide a forum for knowledge exchange, coaching and capacity building as well as peer-to-peer learning to strengthen sustainable urban trees and forestry practices. Together they promote urban trees as a high-impact, cost effective solution for cities facing the multifaceted challenges of climate change.

To learn more, please visit the Trees in Cities website:

Trees for Resilient Green Cities: Strategic Screening and Action Toolkit

 Optimising the services and benefits provided by trees and forests in urban and peri-urban areas requires a strategic and comprehensive approach to planning and management.  To support cities with implementing this approach, UNECE developed the Trees for Resilient Green Cities Strategic Screening and Action Toolkit with the generous support of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment.

Designed for cities, this toolkit includes a scorecard, template implementation scheme and resources to support planning and is available for download and use in the following formats:

PDF - Not fillable

Word - Fillable

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For more information

Read the Sustainable Urban and Peri-Urban Forestry Policy brief 

Watch the Trees in Cities Challenge video 

Discover how urban trees are key to global biodiversity 

Forests 4 Food in Cities


Cities are experiencing increased food insecurity and nutritional challenges. Urban food production is expected to increase by 50% to help meet this increased demand (source: WEForum). There is a need for comprehensive and nature-based solutions to enable the sustainable production and availability of wholesome, fresh food in urban areas. There is also a need to ensure the food produced in cities is eaten.

Food forests, urban farming, fruit tree planting, roof-top and vertical farming not only allow for food to be grown locally, but expand urban green spaces. Together these enhance a host of ecosystem benefits contributing to climate change mitigation, reduced environmental footprint from food production and increased biodiversity in cities. UNECE is working to support cities across the region with initiatives related to connecting their residents to local food.  


Learn more: Trees in Cities Challenge and Forests4Food in Cities or contact Secretariat


Last update date: March 29, 2023