Cities4Forests is a movement to catalyze political, social, and economic support among city governments and urban residents to integrate the inner, nearby, and faraway forests into city development plans and programs. In Indonesia, Jakarta is a member of Cities4Forests.
Jakarta and more than 50 cities across six continents.
Trees and forests are very important for urban communities. Trees within cities (the “inner forests”) clean the air, offset heat islands (and lower energy bills), and support human health and wildlife. Trees in watersheds surrounding cities (“the nearby forest”) contribute to cleaner air and drinking water, reduce flooding, and offer an escape from hectic urban life. And trees in the “faraway forests” sequester large amounts of carbon, generate rain for the world’s farm belts, provide a wealth of useful products, and host the majority of the world’s land-based biodiversity.
In return, cities can provide immense value to forests. Because urban areas are increasingly where people live and work, the public policies and procurement practices of cities have enormous potential to support the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of forests.
Today, the City of Jakarta is facing various problems, ranging from air pollution, water supply and quality, land subsidence, and flooding – all of which can be mitigated by preserving trees, inner and nearby forests. For water shortage and flooding, for instance, the conservation of trees in the watershed areas near the city can directly affect the availability of clean water as well as drastically reducing floods which currently plague the city.
The Jakarta government has joined Cities4Forests as part of their effort to increase collaboration with the international community and develop Jakarta as a Resilient City and Green City, particularly regarding the development of green open spaces, parks, and flood mitigation through river naturalization. The government recognizes that trees and forests in Jakarta provide many benefits to urban residents, including providing clean air and high-quality drinking water, as well as the creation of education and recreation spaces where people can interact with one another and foster a culture of outdoor, healthier living.
Cities4Forests is a voluntary coalition involving mayors’ offices and supported by other subnational agencies. Cities4Forests encourages peer-to-peer inspiration and learning, and members receive technical support from the institutions with expertise in forest, climate change, water, communications, finance, and policy.
In Jakarta, the Government of Jakarta, supported by partners, will advance trees and forests conservation by, among others, improving Jakarta’s Open Green Space Masterplan, analyzing the impact of deforestation in nearby forests (Ciliwung and Citarum watersheds), and developing communications products and public engagement activities to increase public awareness on the importance of inner and nearby forests.