‘Cities4Forests’ project to conserve green patches

KOCHI: The ailing green lungs of the city will soon get a healing touch as Cities4Forests project – an initiative by World Resource Institute (WRI) in association with Kochi Corporation – was officially kick-started here last week. Cities4Forests provides the forum and technical support for linking cities and forests.

“Cities4Forests is a movement to catalyse political, social and economic support among civic bodies and urban citizens to integrate the nearby and faraway forests into city development plans and programmes. Participants share an aspiration to help reduce deforestation, restore forests (including more having trees in cities), and manage forests more sustainably. Our goal is to amplify current best practices and extend the deliberate city-forest relationship to the global scale at which cities and forests interact,” said Aparna Vijaykumar, senior project associate, Cities and Transport, WRI India.

She said the major components of the project include a Mapathon, where the blue and green areas of the city will be identified and recorded.

“It comprises preparing the map of green patches, water bodies surrounding it and city-specific details to derive a landscape restoration strategy. The areas where we can plant more trees will be identified in the greater Kochi area. The water bodies which need to be conserved are also to be listed,” she added. The areas which are vulnerable to climatic change, floods and other natural calamities will be identified. “Another major component is devising a climate-resilient action plan. The focus is on public spaces in the city to make them more accessible and citizen-friendly,” said Aparna.

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