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Cities’ Engagement with Faraway Forests

Forests located far from major cities include some of the most essential ecosystems for supporting life on earth. Cities and faraway forests can have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Mutually beneficial relationship between cities and faraway forests. More on this at https://cities4forests.com/forests/. Image: Cities4Forests, 2020.

A city or municipal government’s political and financial support of faraway forests can be an important way to mitigate deforestation, climate change, and biodiversity loss. Cities’ political support can include advocacy and support for the protection of local rights to forest resources. For instance, cities could use their political capital and resources to support policies such as the Forest Rights Act in India, a piece of landmark legislation that seeks to reverse historical injustice towards tribal and other traditional forest dwellers, and recognizes and vests their right to forests and ensures support for their livelihoods.

Cities’ financial support for faraway forests may include providing access to markets for the sale of certified products, including sustainable wood for city infrastructure. City governments can also foster ecotourism programs, meet their climate commitments, and broaden communication campaigns to raise their residents’ awareness of forest-related benefits.

The next two slides describe general social equity considerations pertinent to faraway forests that city-level decision makers should be aware of, followed by a slide specifically on how city-level decision makers can practice equitable procurement to advance the socioeconomic wellbeing of relevant communities.