Kochi: Kochi has been selected for the Cities4Forests project initiated by a consortium of international agencies like World Resource Institute (WRI), Pilot Projects and REVOLVE with the involvement of mayors’ offices and supported by other sub-national agencies from around the world.
It selected 45 cities from across the world for the project which aims at incorporating forests into the urban strategy to address climate change issues. Kochi is the only city selected from India on the list.
“The civic administration has submitted a proposal with the support of WRI which has got approval. Most of the cities selected for the initiative are from the USA. Being a member city of the programme, Kochi will get technical support from institutions with expertise in forests, climate change, water, communications, finance, and policy,” said Dr Rajan Chedambath, the officer in charge of the Corporation’s international relations.
Being a member, Kochi will get assistance in conducting a footprint analysis that identifies the city’s impacts and dependence on forests, including the urban, nearby and faraway ones, prioritises hotspots and quantifies benefits.
The urban forest includes all trees within cities, from those in parks to ones that line roads while nearby forest means trees in surrounding areas.
Mayor Soumini Jain will attend the inaugural meeting of the Cities4Forests project during the Urban Future Global Conference in Oslo from May 22 to 24.
The programme assumes much significance to Kochi which has a forest cover, Mangalavanam, in the heart of the city, fast disappearing green cover and a fragile ecosystem.
According to global data, very few cities are investing in forests as part of their strategies for addressing climate change, ensuring clean drinking water, improving public health, reducing air pollution, mitigating disaster risk and providing recreation.