The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), have announced that the 1St Africa Forum on Urban Forests (AFUF)  will be held on the week of 5-9 July 2021.  The Forum  will include presentations and group discussions over the course of the week.  It is intended to be a technical meeting bringing together representatives of national and local governments, research and academic institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, urban planners, representatives and experts from forestry country and regional institutions and networks, urban foresters, landscape designers and other private sector and young professionals who deal with the planning and management of urban forests and green public spaces. It will enable them to exchange experiences and lessons learned, and discuss possible long-term collaboration on the development of strategies for a greener, healthier, and happier future in Africa.

The aim of AFUF is to highlight positive examples of planning, design, management and monitoring approaches that cities with diverse cultures, environmental and socio-economic contexts, sizes, forms, structure and histories have implemented in collaboration with other sectors in Africa to optimize the contribution of urban forests and green infrastructure to sustainable economic development, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, landscape restoration, combating desertification and sand encroachment, climate change mitigation and adaptation, building resilience, improved social cohesion, and increased public involvement and green jobs.

More specifically, the objectives of the Forum are:

  • raising awareness on the importance and contributions urban forestry and urban greening as a tool to increase resilience of cities to global/regional changes, biodiversity conservation and action against climate change and desertification and enhance green recovery;
  • disseminating inspiring practices on the co-creation, maintenance and management of urban forests and green public spaces networks;
  • improving collective knowledge, taking stock on progress made through inclusive open debates and review experiences and policies, lessons learnt on urban and peri-urban forestry and green infrastructure development in Africa and discuss opportunities for scaling-up;
  • creating a periodic appointment for the urban forest and green infrastructure actors and stakeholders in Africa and link it to the global World Forum on Urban Forests and the World Urban Forum;
  • supporting the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda processes and optimizing actions related to urban ecosystems and green spaces;

On a wider scale, the event will aim to identify concrete actions that will be taken to achieve greener, happier, more inclusive and healthier cities and communities, in line with the Call to Action and the five standards proposed by the Tree Cities of the World program launched at the 1st World Forum of Urban Forests. It will also provide inputs and contributions to the FAO’s Green Cities Initiative development and implementation  in Africa as well as  to the implementation of the recommendations of the 22nd Session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission held in March 2020 in South Africa.

More information about the agenda and registration process will follow soonest. A call for abstracts will also be opened for the selection of speakers for the thematic sessions. Everyone is invited to contribute to the discussion by submitting the proposal for an oral/poster presentation.

This information is shared by the African Forest Forum (AFF) on behalf of The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat).