18 September 2018
Mayor Andy Burnham has committed the city region to join Cities4Forests alongside 44 other cities across six continents.
The initiative was launched at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on 13 September 2018 where 45 cities made a commitment to conserve and restore their forests while making residents more aware of the vast benefits of trees.
The coalition includes Mexico City, Johannesburg, São Paulo, Toronto and Los Angeles and has representation from 164 million residents from cities on every continent except Antarctica.
Greater Manchester as a city region has come on board as a founding member in the Cities4Forests initiative thanks to Mayor Andy Burnham and charity City of Trees.
Trees and forests provide multiple health benefits, sustain water resources, reduce flooding, help to combat climate change, and protect global biodiversity.
Yet forests remain under threat. Each year, at least 5 million hectares (12.3 million acres) of forest—an area the size of Costa Rica—are permanently converted to other uses around the world, and many millions more are degraded.
Forest loss and degradation contribute more than 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and have devastating impacts on local communities.
Frances Seymour, Distinguished Senior Fellow at World Resources Institute; “The more we learn about how trees interact with the atmosphere, the more we realize how forests influence the climate on both a local and a global scale."
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Our ambition is to make Greater Manchester one of the leading green cities in Europe and this year’s Green Summit put us very firmly on the path to achieving that vision.
“We’re thrilled to be part of Cities4Forests and will be working with City of Trees and other partners to make Greater Manchester greener and healthier, the best place in the world to grow up, get on and grow old.”
Tony Hothersall, City of Trees adds; “For the first time in history, more than 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and this is only expected to increase. We need to utilise the important role trees and woods play in solving some of our more complex environmental problems and ensure as people we don’t lose our connection to nature that we are hardwired to need”.