Two-thirds of humanity will live in cities by 2050; achieving national sustainable development objectives and the SDGs depends on healthy and resilient cities. Responsible for around 75% of global CO2 emissions, cities are also at the forefront of fighting climate change while being particularly vulnerable to its impacts.
Sustainable urban forestry is an integrative and cost-effective nature-based solution to these challenges and can help develop greener, healthier and more resilient cities. Trees and forests in urban and peri-urban areas provide vital benefits for health and wellbeing, sustainable development, climate adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity, and disaster risk reduction. In other words, sustainable urban forestry contributes not only to sustainable local development and quality of life, but also to achieving national objectives and global goals, including most SDGs.
While there is an urgent need to expand the urban forest cover in our urban and peri-urban areas, afforestation and tree planting interventions should be adequately designed and include provisions for sustainable, long-term management. This ensures that the benefits provided by the urban forest are optimized over time. Yet despite the large potential benefits across the SDGs, cities face an array of legal, financial, and other resource constraints to implementing sustainable urban forestry based on long-term plans. Furthermore, urban woodland areas are often small and fragmented, which can undermine their ecological viability, and management is complicated by a diverse patchwork of public and private owners. Integrated long-term planning, finance, and multi-stakeholder cooperation is, therefore, critical to overcome traditional silos and the many challenges faced by sustainable urban forestry practitioners.
In this context, the roundtable will focus on the following policy actions:
What national and local policies and tools are currently available to support urban and peri-urban forestry so that it can effectively contribute to achieving agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement, and other global, national, and local goals?
- What financing sources and financial mechanisms have been used and are available to implement sustainable urban and peri-urban forestry in cities?
- How can cooperation be enhanced across sectors and boundaries, including with private owners and the community, to advance sustainable urban forestry as an integrative solution?
Registration for the Round Table has closed.
A new UNECE policy brief on Sustainable Urban and Peri-Urban Forestry is available here.
More information on the Regional Forum for Sustainable Development is available here.
More information about the Round Table is available here.
More information on the Informal Network of Experts on Sustainable Urban Forestry is available here.