Day of Forests
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International Day of Forests

Today we celebrate the International Day of Forests 2018. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. The Day of Forests 2018 raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. Countries around the world are encouraged to organize activities involving forests and trees. The theme in 2018 is “Forest and Sustainable Cities.”

Trees and Forests in Cities

The theme of International Day of Forests 2018 is “Forest and Sustainable Cities.” More people than ever before live in cities. Forecasts tell us that by 2050, 6 billion people, or as much as 70% of the global population, are expected to live in urban areas. This rapid urbanization does not need to result in polluted urban sprawl. Especially as we have the knowledge to make cities cleaner and greener and therefore healthier places to live. Trees and urban forests are natural air conditioners. They cool the air between 2 and 8 degrees and can make our cities happier places to live. Also, trees filter out harmful pollutants and mitigate the effects of climate change.

City Forests around the world in 2018

We gathered some interesting facts from a few outstanding cities around the world that have an active policy to increase urban forests and the number of trees. Let us have a look at them.

Liuzhou, China

This is one of the world’s first forest cities and is currently under construction in southern China. Therefore, it is expected to be completed by 2020. The city will accommodate 30,000 people, and it has everything that a typical city provides such as offices, houses, hotels, hospitals, and schools. But most noteworthy in the context of International Day of Forests, a total of 40,000 trees and almost one million plants from more than 100 species will be planted in building facades, parks, and city streets.  Watch the video below.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is among the cleanest cities in the world. It was the first city to win the European Green Capital Award, and it has a noble, long-term plan to be fossil fuel free by 2050. It will host the 20th International Conference on Urban Forest Statistics. This conference aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers, and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Urban Forest Statistics. Another great city working on innovative solutions is Manchester in the United Kingdom.

Manchester, UK

The City of Trees is an innovative and exciting movement set to re-invigorate greater Manchester’s landscape by transforming underused, unloved woodlands and planting a tree for every man, woman, and child who lives there, all within a generation. Another European city to mention is Trnava in Eastern Europe.

Trnava, Slovakia

This Slovakian city has been granted the title of European City of the Trees in 2017. The annual award is a title given by the European Arboriculture Council. The award is given to a town or city by the council in recognition of its care for trees in its urban area. The award was given because of the long-standing efforts of the town’s local government to expand green areas in the city. From Europe we go to North-America.

Vancouver, Canada

In The Green City Index, Vancouver boasts the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita of any city. Vancouver has an active urban forest policy. Vancouver’s urban forest includes every tree in the city, on streets, in parks and public spaces, and in backyards. Additionally, the city’s ecological goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and planting 150,000 new trees by 2020, making it one of the greenest cities in the world. Furthermore we want to mention three African cities.

Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, South Africa

These three cities in Africa all share a spot on the greenest cities list. Consequently each city is very strong in different categories. Cape Town and Johannesburg, first of all, are said to have most green spaces in the whole continent. In addition Durban takes the lead because of its target to become a zero-waste city within 20 years and carbon neutral by 2050.

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International Day of Forests