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PARTNER FOREST PROGRAM

An opportunity for cities to fight climate change, preserve global biodiversity, innovate new business models and bridge the rural-urban divide by partnering with tropical forests around the world.

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For more information about the Partner Program, please contact our expert, Scott Francisco

What’s the connection?

With their high concentrations of people, influence, and consumption, cities’ actions will be key to meeting climate change targets and protecting the planet. Tropical forests hold vast amounts of carbon, are home to most of our land-based biodiversity, and play a vital role in maintaining water cycles.

Cities are often unaware that their consumption is responsible for the majority of tropical deforestation, through everyday commodities like palm oil, soy, rubber, cacao, metals, petroleum, coffee and wood.
And although tropical forests represent 30% of the total climate solution, cities have not yet incorporated forest conservation into their climate change agendas.

Cities can help prevent deforestation by supporting forest-friendly products such as shade grown coffee and cocoa.

Bird friendly coffee promotes sustainable livelihoods, while conserving forest for bird habitat and global biodiversity.

Shade-grown cacao cultivated under a forest canopy reduces deforestation and protects the livelihoods of forest communities

How can cities support “Faraway” Tropical Forests?

Building awareness of the interdependencies between cities and ‘faraway’ forests – and then mobilizing cities to become advocates for forest conservation – is an essential goal of Cities4Forests. Cities can help sequester millions of tons of carbon through partnerships with communities working to protect forests – a major step towards restoring the Earth’s biodiversity, carbon balance – while creating opportunities for some of the world’s poorest people. These “local-to-local” partnerships can lead to significant global change, and demonstrate the power of “thinking globally, acting locally”.

How the partnerships work

The Cities4Forests Partner Forest Program connects cities with specific tropical forest areas and communities for mutual benefit, and in support of forest conservation and restoration strategies.

Around the world hundreds of forest communities are protecting the environment and producing quality products, but often lack access to markets for their forest-friendly goods. To access this wealth and support these enterprises, participating cities can be paired-up with a carefully selected forest in our partner forest database.

These partnerships can take various forms, for example, the procurement of sustainably-sourced wood for use in a city landmark, forest carbon credits, or the use of non-timber forest products, like coffee, cocoa or rubber.

Additional programming may include research and travel exchanges for citizens, students, and leaders between the forest and the city.

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Cocoa

Shade grown cacao support livelihoods that protect forests.

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Coffee

Connecting cities to sustainable coffee farmers in the Amazon.

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Timber

Low impact tropical timber for urban street furniture.

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Rubber

Sustainable forest rubber for tires and shoe soles.

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Cocoa

Shade grown cacao support livelihoods that protect forests.

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Timber

Low impact tropical timber for urban street furniture.

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Coffee

Connecting cities to sustainable coffee farmers in the Amazon.

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Rubber

Sustainable forest rubber for tires and shoe soles.

We help cities select and engage partner forests

Cities

Demonstrating creative climate leadership; access to boutique city-branded sustainable products, municipal procurement innovation, help meet SDG targets, research and education opportunities, cultural enrichment and exchanges, eco-tourism, health and wellbeing benefits from increased engagement with nature and community, and support for local biodiversity through increased attention and awareness.

Forest Communities

Access to global markets for their sustainable forest products, recognition for their vital contribution to global forests and climate and stewardship, opportunities for innovative work especially for youth, access to science and technology to sustain biodiverse forests, connections to global culture that build on, rather than undermine, local culture, skills and knowledge.

Our Partner Forest Toolkit includes co-design workshops and steps towards forging these relationships by helping cities:

Decide what criteria/connections are important for their partner forest.

Choose a partner forest from our Partner Forest Database – a collection of high priority candidate global forests that exemplify conservation, and could benefit from partnership.

Connect with the international partners working with these forests and communities.

Plan the connections, variety of ‘flows’ to be considered, and types of urban resident engagement with partner forests.

Connections between cities and partner forests may include ecological links (e.g., air currents, bird migration routes, watershed connections); cultural, historical, or political links; material or trade opportunities; and/or the presence of existing threats to the forest and potential for the partnership to mitigate these.

Through these partnerships, Cities4Forests member cities will become long-term champions for the world’s most important forests and the lives they sustain. Partner Forests will model a new type of proactive and cooperative globalization in the fight for a livable climate, just economies, and flourishing biodiversity.

We help cities select and engage partner forests

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Tools

Our Partner Forest Toolkit includes co-design workshops and steps towards forging these relationships by helping cities:

Decide what criteria/connections are important for their partner forest.

Choose a partner forest from our Partner Forest Database – a collection of high priority candidate global forests that exemplify conservation, and could benefit from partnership.

Connect with the international partners working with these forests and communities.

Plan the connections, variety of ‘flows’ to be considered, and types of urban resident engagement with partner forests.

Connections between cities and partner forests may include ecological links (e.g., air currents, bird migration routes, watershed connections); cultural, historical, or political links; material or trade opportunities; and/or the presence of existing threats to the forest and potential for the partnership to mitigate these.

Through these partnerships, Cities4Forests member cities will become long-term champions for the world’s most important forests and the lives they sustain. Partner Forests will model a new type of proactive and cooperative globalization in the fight for a livable climate, just economies, and flourishing biodiversity.

Benefits

Cities

Demonstrating creative climate leadership; access to boutique city-branded sustainable products, municipal procurement innovation, help meet SDG targets, research and education opportunities, cultural enrichment and exchanges, eco-tourism, health and wellbeing benefits from increased engagement with nature and community, and support for local biodiversity through increased attention and awareness.

Forest Communities

Access to global markets for their sustainable forest products, recognition for their vital contribution to global forests and climate and stewardship, opportunities for innovative work especially for youth, access to science and technology to sustain biodiverse forests, connections to global culture that build on, rather than undermine, local culture, skills and knowledge.

Outcomes

  • Exciting programs for city residents, private sector and government;
  • Opportunities for forest communities to expand business and conservation work;
  • Connection youth on both sides of the partnership, to each other and to opportunities for learning and livelihoods;
  • Awareness of tropical forests by city residents, and government;
  • Innovate financial models and business partnerships;
  • Global culture that protects and restores forests.

Photo credit: Pilot Projects Design Collective

Photo Credit: WholeForest

Other Case Studies

Shea Butter: Sourcing From The Local Communities

An emblematic raw material and a flagship ingredient of many L’Oréal products, shea is at the heart of a responsible sourcing programme in Burkina Faso. 100% socially responsible sourcing.

Shea butter is used as an ingredient in almost 1,200 of L’Oréal’s skincare, personal hygiene and make-up products. It is among the top 10 of its plant-based raw materials today and purchasing levels are constantly increasing. For this emblematic ingredient, L’Oréal decided to set up a sustainable sourcing with the local communities.

Starbuck’s Ethical Sourcing

Our success is linked to the success of the farmers and suppliers who grow and produce our products.

Helping people thrive helps ensure the long-term sustainability of the premium products we provide. Whether it’s arabica coffee, tea, cocoa or manufactured goods, we’re committed to offering ethically purchased and responsibly produced sustainable products of the highest quality.

Eat chocolate, save a rainforest – the Gola Cocoa Project tells you how

Sounds too good to be true? A project is stopping deforestation and community exploitation in Sierra Leone through the power of cocoa.

Gbessay Sannoh and Bockerie Sama are standing in a shady rainforest amongst the whooping sounds of hornbills and leafy cocoa trees. They’re at the edge of the Gola Rainforest in Sierra Leone, where for generations thousands of cocoa trees have been grown by their people – the Goleagorbu, small-scale farmers. While chatting and joking they break open the large, golden-yellow cocoa pods with smooth-handled wooden clubs.

Mpingo Conservation & Development Initiative

At the Mpingo Conservation & Development Initiative we promote forest conservation in south-eastern Tanzania by finding and creating opportunities where local communities can benefit from sustainably managing their forests.

Specifically, we:

Promote community-based forest management, so communities can own, manage and benefit from their forests

Oslo Procurement policy

The City of Oslo’s procurement activities are crucial for meeting our environmental goals. We are committed to using procurement as a strategic tool to drive a transition to more sustainable production and consumption. In our decentralized procurement function this commitment is integrated at the top management level in all fifty agencies of the City of Oslo, and it is reflected in their Local Action Plans for the procurement activities. We aim to use our market power to generate innovation and create markets for more sustainable products and services.