The State of the World’s Urban Forests

Resilience Blog

Every couple
of years, the Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
publishes a series of reports under the name of The State of
the World’s Forests
(SOFO). These documents compile current
information on key issues concerning the forest sector to facilitate decision-making
and management processes in relation to the world’s forests.

The last SOFO,
published in 2018, for the first time ever discusses
the role of urban forests under the framework of the Sustainable
Development Goals
(SDG). In response to the accelerated urbanisation
coupled with climate change dynamics, urban forests are viewed as a valuable
contribution to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient
and sustainable” (SDG 11). Both in theory and practice, urban forests and trees
have a positive impact on urban environmental conditions and citizens´
livelihoods and well-being.

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EFUF2019 registrations temporarily suspended

Due to the very high number of Early Bird bookings, we unfortunately had to pause further registrations. Priority is actually given to non-registered presenters, please send an e-mail to if you are a presenter and still need to register. Other interested potential participants can register on the waitlist through Those on the waitlist will be informed when places become available.

National Forest Inventories as a multipurpose tool for urban forests

This blogpost has originally been posted at and was written by Itziar Aguinaga Gil

Urban environmental challenges require on-site environmental solutions. As such, green infrastructure is widely proposed as a feasible measure towards the resilience and sustainable development of urban areas.

Urban forests represent the back-bone of urban green infrastructure by connecting the rural and city interface, and they provide both environmental and social benefits given that an adequate implementation and management is in place. However, all efforts may fail if there are not consistent and universal tools to quantify and characterize the necessary factors involved in the practice, policy and decision-making process. That is why we should consider the potentials of integrating urban forests within the National Forest Inventory.

The National Forest Inventory (NFI) is a monitoring programme that aims to gather accurate information on the development of forests over time. Even though it is designated at the national level, comparable international reporting is encouraged through a synchronization project coordinated by the European Network of National Forest Inventories (ENFIN). When used as a multipurpose resource and combined with an urban focus, NFI may fill the gap between the demand for urban forestry solutions and its current data availability by providing national level data on urban forest resources. Thus, it may have the potential of working towards the integration and recognition of urban forests in national and international political agendas.

On March 15, 2018, the Nordic Forest Research Cooperation Committee (SNS) organized a policy outreach workshop on “Urban Forests in a European Perspective: what can the National Forest Inventory tell us?”. Through a pilot study approach involving 35 researchers, policy makers and practitioners from nine European countries, it was stated that by combining the NFI with the Degree of Urbanization data (DEGURBA) it is possible to obtain existing data on urban forests at the European level. This methodology enables to: upscale from case studies to higher levels; detail data from remote sensing tools to field based NFI monitoring; quantify urban forest-based ecosystem services through NFI parameters; and, qualify knowledge gaps towards policy and decision making.

It further encourages cross-sectoral partnerships and platforms to achieve a synthesis of knowledge on the challenges that urban societies encounter. Overall perspectives of the workshop pointed the need to translate or harmonise urban based factors into NFI parameters (such as regulating  or cultural ecosystem services related to well-being of users). They also raised the importance of integrating data protocols into routine measurements and applying the methodology in parallel with NFI approaches in other to facilitate the transfer of information. All these factors may contribute to the development of a holistic database of tree resources in urban areas.

Whether the outcome of the workshop served for awareness on the multipurpose side of NFI is open to debate. Urban forests are still waiting for a full integration within urban sustainability agendas, and international political initiatives might be the key towards the expansion of the professional relevance of the sector.

Would you like to learn more on the state of urban forests? Attend the 2019 European Forum on Urban Forestry in the amazing city of Cologne (Germany). More information and registration at Early bird registrations end March 31!

For further reading check out the Nordic network of urban forestry and NFI, and European perspectivesP

Photo: @Lola Fatoyinbo/ Nasa Earth Observatory

World Down Syndrome Day meets International Day of Forest – Policy recommendations for employing urban forests as enabling learning environments

How forests help to energise children with special needs …

European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF)

there is a place
where children who have never walked, find freedom
where children who have never talked, find words
and more often than not, where every child finds a smile

In this blogpost, we celebrate the 21st of March, which is not only International Day of Forest 2019 but also World Down Syndrome Day. We look how three EFUF partners implemented forest education for children with special needs, including children with Down Syndrome.

Playing and learning in forest and nature stimulates the imagination, creativity and entrepreneurship. Besides, nature is a great place to gain experience for the development of social and motor skills. The positive impact of a green learning environment is even more significant when working with children with cognitive disabilities, learning disorders, attention disabilities (such as ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders. In an informal natural environment, these children learn better than in a classroom. A…

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Abstract notification sent out

We have just send out the notification of acceptance or rejection of abstracts send in for EFUF2019. Of the 135 abstracts submitted, we could accept 90 abstracts for a poster or oral talk. Some abstracts are still pending however.

We received an overwhelming number of abstracts which where overall of very high quality. We searched and found original solutions to accommodate additional contributions (you have to attend to find this out), but due to logistical reasons and time limitations, we had to go through a difficult review and trade-off process.

All corresponding authors should have received an e-mail with the result of the abstract reviewing process. If not, please contact us.

Do not forget to register for EFUF2019 at and book your accommodation as soon as possible.