25 June 2021

Funding available for city pilots using sustainably-sourced tropical wood

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Cities4Forests is providing seed funding of up to $70,000 (USD) for European cities to launch seven Partner Forests programs in 2021. These cities are being invited to source tropical hardwood from exemplary community forest conservation enterprises, to be used in prominent city infrastructure. Projects will showcase the community enterprise protecting the forest and the conservation benefits of using sustainably-sourced wood. These high-visibility exchanges will promote consumer awareness, forest stewardship, and urban policies that exhibit leadership on climate and biodiversity. Cities can help sequester millions of tons of carbon through partnerships with forest communities who are successfully conserving tropical forests, an activity which is a major step towards restoring the earth’s carbon balance. Fundamentally, these local-to-local partnerships can demonstrate the power of thinking globally and acting locally.


How do these partnerships work?

The Cities4Forests Partner Forest program is based on cities engaging with specific forest areas and communities who will supply the partner city with a product or service at a fair price in order to further their forest conservation business model. Partner forest candidates are vetted by Cities4Forests through research, referrals, proven successes, and existing NGO partners. Once the seven cities have been selected, a co-design workshop with each will help frame project parameters, develop a budget and customise contract documents. This process will ensure competitive delivery of forest products (wood and other services) in accordance with procurement policy.


Each Partner Forest program will differ in context and scope. Programs will be co-designed and developed with city officials, Cities4Forests, and representatives from the forest community to address the needs, priorities and challenges of both partnering entities. Partner Forest candidates will each have well-established enterprises and/or supply chain relationships with a track record of socially-oriented tropical conservation work and a vested interest in the forest locale. This includes a commitment to social equity and contributing to local livelihoods in a holistic and equitable way (see our Gender and Equity Guide). Forest community stakeholders and/or representatives from partnering NGOs will be involved in establishing priorities, needs and capacities, and the points of contact for the forest partners.


In the longer term, the broader Partner Forest program is intended to be self-perpetuating as cities embrace the value of city-forest connections and new Partner Forest opportunities. We expect a variety of financing options to emerge for new programs though public, private and third sector partnerships.


For more information or to start a conversation, please contact Scott Francisco, Director, Cities4Forests, via scott@pilot-projects.org