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Urban forests: a global perspective









Borelli, S., Conigliaro, M., Di Cagno, F. 2023. Urban forests: a global perspective. Rome.



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    This leaflet is a simple overview of the Green Cities Initiative that focuses on improving the urban environment, strengthening urban-rural linkages and the resilience of urban systems, services and populations to external shocks. Ensuring access to a healthy environment and healthy diets from sustainable agri-food systems, increasing availability of green spaces through urban and peri-urban forestry, it will also contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainable resource management. A "Green Cities Network" will allow cities of all sizes - from megapolis to medium to small - to share experiences, best practices, successes and lessons learned, as well as build city-to-city cooperation opportunities.
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    Since January 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been spearheading the initiative for the production of “Guidelines for Policy and Decision Making: Promoting Urban and Peri-­‐urban Forestry”. These guidelines are being prepared at the global and regional levels through a consultative process. The primary audiences for this document are policy and decision makers holding an authority positions and a strategic influence in city administration, civil society , business or politics. As a first step in the guidelines development process, and in order to deliberate upon regional issues and challenges relevant to UPF, FAO invited experts from various parts of the Asia-­‐Pacific region to New Delhi (India). Coming from different disciplines and having different professional backgrounds, these experts represented a wide cross section of key influencers in UPF policy and decision making. Apart from generating useful insights and inputs for the “Guidelines for Policy and Decision Making: Promoting Urban and Peri-­‐urban Forestry”, the meeting also paved the way for a sustained and structured dialogue on UPF in the Asia-­‐Pacific region. It is hoped that the dialogue initiated by FAO at New Delhi will result in the emergence of new networks and institutional collaborations that will help urban and peri-­‐urban forests and trees achieve their potential and ensure healthy and sustainable urban habitats across the Asia-­‐Pacific region. The meeting wa s held within the framework of the International Congress on Urban Green Spaces (5–7 March 2012), co-­‐organized by the Center for Urban Green Spaces (CUGS), Aravali Foundation for Education (AFE), New Delhi (India), and the Department of Environment, Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, in association with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India. The main objective of this meeting was to invite delegates to give their inputs on the regional draft version of the document “Towards Guidelines for Policy and Decision making: Promoting Urban and Peri-­‐urban Forestry”, in order to support its finalization. The meeting also aimed to achieve a better understanding of the overall institutional, policy and networking framework on UPF; to develop strategic advice to raise the profile of forests and trees on the national, regional and global urban agendas; and to define strategic opportunities for implementing adaptable and efficient UPF programmes in the Asia-­‐Pacific region.
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    Pro-poor legal and institutional frameworks for urban and peri-urban agriculture 2012
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    Urbanization is one of the key drivers of change in the world today as the world’s urban population will almost double by 2050. Providing support to the most vulnerable in an urbanizing world demands discussions on food, agriculture and cities in the context of rural- urban linkages. Policies need to address a very wide range of issues in order to link urbanization, food and nutrition security and livelihoods: how and where to produce enough food for urban dwellers? What infrastructure is needed ? How can cities preserve the surrounding ecosystems? The “Food for the Cities” initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) promotes a food system approach supported by a great variety of areas such as urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) and forestry, support to small producers in urban and peri-urban areas, land tenure, food supply, nutrition education, school gardens, waste management and re-use of wastewater. All stakeholders from the public sector, the private sector and the civil society need to work together at global, national and local levels. FAO seeks to bring these stakeholders into a neutral forum for international discussions. This legislative study aims to promote an understanding of the key elements and issues to be addressed by a pro-poor legal and institutional framework for the practice of urban and peri- urban agriculture. Several case studies from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Ghana, and Uganda are included to this end. It is hoped that this study will provide guidance to national legislators, ministers and administrations, mayors and other municipal officials, as well as lawyers involved in drafting legislation and regulations or advising on or advocating for better legal frameworks for urban and peri-urban agriculture.

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