Human society is enduring one of the greatest global health crises of the past century: COVID-19. Studies show that deforestation and human intervention in nature can spread certain viral diseases, including the coronaviruses. The Cities4Forests team is working from home and redoubling our efforts to create a world where cities and forests thrive together. In order to support a robust and durable recovery, cities need to “build back better”. This is why Cities4Forests is working to strengthen the resilience of cities through better conservation, management, and restoration of forests both within their borders and far away.

This year we created the Cities4Forests Toolbox to support cities to include forests and green infrastructure in their planning and investments. We also launched the public campaign “Forest Challenge” to connect city residents with forests. Five Cities4Forests member cities – Dublin, Manchester, Salvador, San Francisco, and Vienna – were short-listed for the EIT Climate KIC Climathon Global Awards, recognizing their local climate innovation. Cities4Forests is now an official partner to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration to accelerate the recovery of forests and other ecosystems around the world.

New research shows that COVID-19 is more deadly in areas with poor air quality. The Cities4Forests team has been working with Jakarta, Indonesia to map tree cover and green spaces in order to plan an ambitious tree restoration program to address the city’s air pollution. Partnering with the Jakarta’s Governor’s Office, Cities4Forests hosted a mapping workshop to assess urban tree cover and the extent of green space in Jakarta.

The Cities4Forests Toolbox | Providing Cities with Tools to Understand and Manage Forests This spring, Cities4Forests launched a user-friendly toolbox to help city officials access the best forest-related tools available based on their needs, location, and technical capacity. The Toolbox also provides connections with tool developers, allows access to case studies where specific tools have led to successful outcomes, and offers trainings on tool utilization. Discover the latest webinars in our Cities4Forests Toolbox series:

Using Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SoIVES) Intro to the Green-Gray Assessment Guide Intro to Collect Earth

Launch of the Forest Challenge
Forests are essential to urban life! Cities4Forests launched a global digital photo contest on 22 April – Earth Day – which will run until 15 June. Show the world your connection to nature and forests by sharing either a forest memory, the view from your home, or the trees and forests close by. For every photo posted we will plant 1 tree with Reforest’Action in the mangrove forests of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Be part of the challenge, win awards, and contribute to restoring trees and forests inside and near to your city, and even thousands of miles away!

Addis Ababa | Restoring Inner Forests and Advancing Urban Forest Expansion To combat the effects of stormwater flooding, soil erosion, and landslides in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the city’s River Basin and Green Area Development Agency is ramping up efforts to increase tree cover across the city. Working with Cities4Forests, the city is establishing a multi-sector Community of Practice and building knowledge and capacity on how the urban forest strengthens resilience and benefits the city and its residents.

Cities4Forests Partners with the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Cities4Forests is proud to contribute to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which offers a chance to unite forces to live in greater harmony with nature. The UN Decade is calling for strong commitments from countries, the international community, civil society, businesses, and others, to achieve transformational ecosystem restoration including the protection of forests and biodiversity.

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