Institution: aFood and Agriculture Organization, aUniversity of Florence  – Italy

About: Mrs Michela Conigliaro works for the Forestry Policy and Resources Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on the topics of urban and peri-urban forestry and agroforestry. She was co-organiser of the 1st World Forum on Urban Forestry (Mantova, 2018).

Contact: michela.conigliaro@fao.org, simone.borelli@fao.org, fabio.salbitano@unifi.it

Keywords: WFUF, Call for Action, Tree Cities of the World

The 1st World Forum on Urban Forestry (WFUF) was held in Mantova (Italy) from 28-30 November 2018 and was organized by FAO, the Municipality of Mantova, the Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology and the Politecnico di Milano. Over 600 experts gathered to exchange knowledge on approaches that cities have used to optimize the contribution that urban forests and green infrastructure provide in economic development, environmental conservation, improved social cohesion and increased public involvement. The two main outcomes of the Forum were a Call for Action and Tree Cities of the World programme. The Call for Action is intended to provide a reference for cities that aim at develop communities where urban and peri-urban forests help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and are recognized for the wide range of benefits they provide. Trees and green spaces should be viewed as critical infrastructure, like utilities or transportation, and as a strategic component of the landscape. Tree Cities of the World is a recognition scheme for greener cities that was developed by FAO and the Arbor Day Foundation. The aim of the scheme is to stimulate and support cities to reach the goals that are outlined in the Call for Action. In addition to promoting the efficient management of urban tree resources, it also aims to create an international network of cities, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and good practices towards the sustainable management of urban forest and green spaces. The programme is based on five key standards that a city must meet to be recognized as a Tree City of the World:

  1. Establish Responsibility – The community has a written statement by city leaders delegating responsibility for the care of trees within the municipal boundary to a staff member, a city department, or a group of citizens
  2. Set the Rules – The community adopts policies, best practices, or industry standards for managing urban trees and forests
  3. Know What You Have – The community has an updated inventory or assessment of urban trees so that an effective long-term plan for planting, care, and removal of city trees can be established
  4. Allocate the Resources – The community has a dedicated annual budget for the routine implementation of the tree management plan
  5. Celebrate Achievements – The community holds an annual celebration of trees to raise awareness among residents and to acknowledge citizens and staff members who carry out the city tree programme

Conference website

Presentation: link