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/F. Salbitano 


COFO Side Event on "Urban Forests for Sustainable Cities"

The side event took place in Rome on July 21, in the framework of the 23rd Committee on Forestry (COFO). The objective of the meeting was to provide an overview on policies, field projects, tools and researches developed in different regions around the world to support urban and peri-urban forestry implementation at different scales. To this aim, experts and representatives from both developed and developing countries were invited to report on experiences and efforts done at different levels towards the implementation of sound urban forestry programmes and projects.

First Asia-Pacific Urban Forestry Meeting

The First Asia-Pacific Urban Forestry Meeting, co-organized by FAO, the Urban Forestry Research Center of the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China, and the host city of Zhuhai took place from 6 to 8 April. The meeting was attended by over 200 participants from 17 Asian countries (around 150 from China), Europe and North America, representing around 60 government institutions, NGOs, universities, international organization and professional associations.

The participants explored the role of urban forestry in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 11, which focuses on making cities in the Asia Pacific safe, resilient and sustainable. Among the targets of SDG 11 are increasing resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters in cities, and providing universal access to safe and accessible green and public spaces by 2030.

Case studies from various countries, including Australia, India, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, were presented. Then, the role of urban forestry in health and wellbeing, cultural heritage, green economy, urban planning and provision of ecosystems services was discussed in parallel working session.

At the end of the meeting participants unanimously adopted a final statement, the Zhuhai Declaration, which includes recommendations for future collaboration on urban forestry in the Asia-Pacific region.

last updated:  Thursday, November 3, 2016