World Resource Institute

Partner Forests Program

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 of everyday commodities like palm oil, soy, rubber, cacao, metals, petroleum, coffee and wood leads to the majority of tropical deforestation.
Although tropical forests represent 30% of the total climate solution, cities have not yet incorporated forest conservation into their climate change agendas.

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

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

<p>Bird-friendly coffee promotes sustainable livelihoods, while conserving forest for bird habitat and global biodiversity.</p>

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

<p>Shade-grown cacao cultivated under a forest canopy reduces deforestation and protects the livelihoods of forest communities.</p>

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. These “local-to-local” partnerships can lead to significant global change, and demonstrate the power of “thinking globally, acting locally” – major steps towards restoring the Earth’s biodiversity and carbon balance, while creating opportunities for some of the world’s poorest people.

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 pair 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.

Cocoa

Shade grown cacao supports livelihoods that protect forests.

Coffee

Connecting cities to sustainable coffee farmers in the Amazon.

Timber

Low-impact tropical timber for urban street furniture.

Rubber

Sustainable forest rubber for tires and shoe soles.

We help cities select and engage partner forests

BENEFITS

TOOLS

Benefits for 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,
  • Support for local biodiversity through increased attention and awareness.

Benefits for 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.