Urban and peri-urban forestry

Urban and peri-urban forestry (UPF) is the practice of managing forests, groups of trees and individual trees in and around urban areas in order to maximize their economic, livelihood, social, cultural, environmental and biodiversity values. UPF can serve a range of purposes and thus takes many forms, covering natural and planted forests and trees, forests maintained in watersheds or in drylands, forests and wooded areas, green spaces and street trees, as well as trees in urban/peri-urban gardens.

“For the first time, more than half the world's population live in cities and towns. By extension, urban and peri-urban forestry is becoming the window through which people make judgements about all the worlds’ trees and forests. We must ensure that cities, trees and forests grow together to meet the needs of urbanized societies and to convey the importance of all forests to life on our planet”.
– Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General and Head of the Forestry Department, FAO, Rome, November 2010

Sydney, Australia. ©FAO/Fabio Salbitano


SFM Toolbox Urban and Peri-Urban Forestry (UPF) Module is now available online

The aim of this module is to assist forest managers, forest policymakers and decision-makers, urban planners, urban foresters, arborists, private landowners and other stakeholders in assessing, planning and sustainably managing trees and forests in and around cities. The module presents common issues and challenges associated with urban and peri-urban forestry and provides strategies and tools for addressing these challenges, as well as for sustainably managing urban and peri-urban forest and tree resources. It includes case studies from a range of cities, countries and regions. This module includes the following components: 1) Basic knowledge; 2) In more depth; 3) Tools; 4) Cases; and 5) Further learning.

Working Group on Urban and Peri-urban Forestry (WG7) is highlighted in Silva Mediterranea Newsletter

This special edition on Urban and Peri-Urban Forestry presents the mandate, vision, membership and coordination of the WG7.

Proceedings of 19 December 2014 The Proceedings from the meeting on “Optimizing trees and forests for healthy cities - Developing guidelines for decision and policy makers" that was held in Delhi, India in March 2012 are now available online. [more]
Proceedings of 11 December 2014 The meeting of “Trees Connecting People - Developing Guidelines for Decision and Policy Makers: Trees and Forests for Healthy Cities” was held in May, 2011 in Glasgow, UK which is a key step in the preparation of “Voluntary Guidelines for Policy and Decision Marking Promoting Urban and Peri-urban Forestry”. The proceedings include the presentations and discussion of eight workshop sessions, an extraordinary session, and main outcomes and recommendations of this meeting. [more]
Sustainable Natural Resources Management in Africa’s Urban Food and Nutrition Equation 22 October 2014 The latest edition of the Nature & Faune journal focuses on urban agriculture and urban forestry in Africa. This issue includes an article on “Sustainable natural resources management in Africa’s urban food and nutrition equation” that provides examples of how the protection and restoration of forests and tree cover in and around African cities can contribute to alleviating poverty and reducing malnutrition while ensuring a more environmentally and socio-economically sustainable urban development. Other forestry related articles focus more specifically on the demand for wood and non-wood forest products in urban areas, on the legal status of urban forests and on the contribution of forests to food security. [more]

After an interim period following the tragic loss of our colleague Michelle Gauthier in early 2013, a new team is now taking care of FAO’s urban and periurban forestry programme.  

Simone Borelli was appointed Agroforestry and Urban/Periurban Forestry Officer on 1 June 2014. Simone holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management from the University of London, a Masters’ Degree in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona, USA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Sciences from the University of Tuscia, Italy. He has worked for FAO in different capacities for over 15 years and has a wide perspective on forestry matters. He also worked for IPGRI and WWF.

Yujuan Chen joined the programme as Junior Professional Officer for Urban/Periurban Forestry and Trees Outside Forests on 14 July 2014. Yujuan obtained her Ph.D. in urban forestry from Virginia Tech (USA), earned her Master’s degree in urban forestry from the Urban Forestry Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Forestry and completed her Bachelor’s degree in horticulture at the Landscape Architecture Department of the Beijing Forestry University. Prior to joining FAO, she was a forestry specialist with New Jersey State Forestry Services in the U.S.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Michela Conigliaro who provided an essential contribution to the continuation of activities for the duration of this interim period and also Francois Côté and Sophie Laliberté for their excellent support to the programme from February to August 2014. 


last updated:  Friday, June 12, 2015