World Resource Institute

About Cities4Forests

A City-led Movement to Protect Forests

Cities4Forests is a coalition of 84 cities from around the world involving mayors’ offices and other city agencies, such as public water utilities and offices of sustainability. Cities4Forests encourages peer-to-peer learning and connects cities with technical support from institutions with expertise in cities, forests, climate crisis, water, communications, finance, policy and social equity. This helps cities recognize their interdependence with the world’s forests and use their political, economic and cultural power to protect and manage those forests for human well-being.

We help cities better conserve, manage and restore their inner forests, including city trees, urban parks, natural areas and other green infrastructure; nearby forests, such as watersheds; and faraway forests, especially tropical forests. We assist cities by inspiring political action and engagement, providing technical assistance, building capacity, and facilitating economic analysis, finance, and investment.

  1. Abaetetuba, Brazil
  2. Accra, Ghana
  3. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  4. Aguascalientes, Mexico
  5. Amman, Jordan
  6. Antalya, Turkey
  7. Antananarivo, Madagascar
  8. Auckland, New Zealand
  9. Balikpapan, Indonesia
  10. Baltimore, USA
  11. Barcelona, Spain
  12. Barranquilla, Colombia
  13. Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  14. Bogotá, Colombia
  15. Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
  16. Brussels, Belgium
  17. Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  18. Campinas, Brazil
  19. Cartagena, Colombia
  20. Culiacán, Mexico
  21. Denpasar, Indonesia
  22. Detroit, USA
  23. Dublin, Ireland
  24. Eugene (OR), USA
  25. Extrema, Brazil
  26. Fianarantsoa, Madagascar
  27. Freetown, Sierra Leone
  28. Georgetown, Guyana
  29. Glasgow, UK
  30. Greater Manchester, UK
  31. Haifa, Israel
  32. Hermosillo, Mexico
  33. Honolulu, USA
  34. Hyderabad, India
  35. Jakarta, Indonesia
  36. Jayapura, Indonesia
  37. Johannesburg, South Africa
  38. Kigali, Rwanda
  39. King County (WA), USA
  40. Kochi, India
  41. León, Mexico
  42. Lin'an, China
  43. Little Rock, USA
  44. Los Angeles, USA
  45. Macapá, Brazil
  1. Manokwari, Indonesia
  2. Medan, Indonesia
  3. Medellín, Colombia
  4. Mérida, Mexico
  5. Mersin, Turkey
  6. Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara, Mexico
  7. Mexico City, Mexico
  8. Monterrey, Mexico
  9. Montreal, Canada
  10. Mumbai, India
  11. Nairobi, Kenya
  12. New York City, USA
  13. North Little Rock, USA
  14. Oakland, USA
  15. Oslo, Norway
  16. Palmas, Brazil
  17. Paris, France
  18. Pekanbaru, Indonesia
  19. Philadelphia, USA
  20. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  21. Portland (OR), USA
  22. Porto Velho, Brazil
  23. Quito, Ecuador
  24. Raleigh, USA
  25. Rio Branco, Brazil
  26. Sacramento, USA
  27. Salem (OR), USA
  28. Salt Lake City, USA
  29. Salvador, Brazil
  30. San Francisco, USA
  31. Santiago de Cali, Colombia
  32. São Luís, Brazil
  33. São Paulo, Brazil
  34. Seattle, USA
  35. Semarang, Indonesia
  36. Skopje, North Macedonia
  37. Summit County (UT), USA
  38. Tirana, Albania
  39. Toronto, Canada
  40. Uvira, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  41. Vancouver, Canada
  42. Vienna, Austria
  43. Washington, D.C., USA
  44. Xalapa, Mexico

Download the list of Cities4Forests Member Cities

Cities4Forests is also endorsed by the Brazilian National Front of Mayors and Mexican states of Guanajuato and Jalisco.

Building an Alliance Between Cities and Forests

Trees and forests are essential to cities and their residents, providing many benefits for climate, water, biodiversity and resident health and well-being.

Yet forests remain under threat, as the world lost roughly one soccer field of forest every six seconds in 2019. Deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 11 % of carbon emissions — more than the entire global transportation sector. As a result, halting deforestation and helping forests recover naturally could provide up to 30% of the climate solution. If tropical deforestation was a country, it would rank third in carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions, only behind China and the United States. Deforestation and poor forest management can devastate local communities by increasing erosion, landslides, wildfires, flooding and loss of livelihoods.

At the same time, cities face unprecedented pressure to protect the health of their residents, provide access to outdoor green spaces and address social disparities. Cities are also facing rising costs from climate change, water scarcity, pollution, a global economic downturn and the prospect of tight municipal budgets. As cities seek to “build back better” from recent health and economic crises, they need to think beyond traditional concrete-and-steel infrastructure and embrace natural systems that can provide a range of co-benefits at a relatively low cost. So how can cities better support forests, both within and beyond their borders? Innovative plans, resident-engagement strategies and enhanced policies and procurement practices have enormous potential to support forest conservation and restoration. This potential exists in protecting and maintaining local forests, including parks and urban forests within their boundaries, as well as promoting “green infrastructure”; nearby forests that protect water supplies and would benefit from watershed management programs; and faraway forests that are vital for combating the climate crisis, decreasing the loss of biodiversity and supporting large-scale weather patterns. Regardless of where forests are, cities have a responsibility — and a lot to gain — to protect and restore them.

Inspire Political Action & Engagement:

We empower cities, their mayors and their residents to become advocates for trees, forests and green infrastructure in their cities and beyond. We increase awareness and understanding among city decision-makers and urban residents about the potential benefits of forests for their well-being. We use our platform to help align, aggregate and amplify the voices of cities in their advocacy for forests locally and globally.

Provide Technical Assistance & Capacity Building:

We offer technical support to improve city government plans, policies and forest management. We also assist cities with urban tree mapping, forest planning and monitoring. We collect and share best practices, establish peer exchanges and promote a network that allows a more efficient exchange of information. We support research and development efforts for promising technologies, including those for monitoring.

Facilitate Economic Analysis, Finance & Investment:

We seek to attract and scale financial investment in forests by increasing literacy of conservation finance approaches, enhancing bankability of projects and replicating and scaling novel financing approaches. We improve connections between cities, project developers and investors by building pipelines for investable opportunities. Through this, we move forests and other green infrastructure from a niche specialty to a major opportunity for investors.

Join Us

Cities4Forests is supported by a broad network of partners that supply expertise in forest science and management, urban policy and design, sustainable supply chains, communications and outreach, economics, finance and more. Join us in this growing body of work.

Read the Declaration

Read the Press Release