Urban Forests as Nature-based Solutions

Uforest at the European Forum on Urban Forestry 2023

This year marked an important anniversary for the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF): it was the 25th edition!

Held the 24th and 26th of May in Krakow, Poland, EFUF gathered urban forestry experts from all over the world to discuss and confront each other on the future of urban forestry. In particular, this year’s edition focused on the overarching theme of “Urban Forests as Nature-based Solutions”. The theme was chosen to underline the role that urban forests can play in terms of nature recovery, health and wellbeing, liveability and climate resilience. 

During the event, the sessions focused on different topics, from planning and managing urban forests to biodiversity conservation, from climate change mitigation to the social and health benefits of urban green infrastructures. In addition, field visits were organised to explore urban forestry case studies in Krakow and its surroundings; an opportunity to discover the great progress made in Poland with regard to urban forestry. 

Uforest participated to EFUF too. On this occasion, our partners Ian Whitehead and Mariateresa Montisci from the European Forest Institute (EFI) promoted the Uforest alliance and our report “Unlocking the potential of Urban Forests: Developing a Local Urban Forestry Action Plan”. At the event, Uforest had a small stand with some copies of the report and some registration papers for the Uforest alliance. Students, professors, researchers, and professionals approached the stand with curiosity, showing interest in our work and asking questions. Surprisingly, most of the younger people already knew about our online course “Nature in the city: turning knowledge into urban forestry practice”. In general, all the people we talked to agreed that today there is the need to put efforts on the promotion of innovation and collaboration in urban forestry and the delivery of associated Nature-based Solutions (NbS). 

Finally, the event also celebrated another important achievement: EFUF has been constituted as an international organisation under Belgian law. This means that now EFUF will be able to provide a platform for further collaborations, funding applications and an extension of activities in the future.