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The Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Unveil Tree Cities of the World Programme

date 12/03/18

For more information, contact

Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

New Programme Recognizes Cities and Towns for Excellence in Community Forestry

LINCOLN, Neb., December 3, 2018 – The Arbor Day Foundation along with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today unveiled their Tree Cities of the World Programme, an initiative to recognize communities across all continents that meet core standards for the care and planning of community trees and forests. This worldwide programme is built off the success of the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA program, which has provided recognition to cities and towns for more than 40 years. The joint announcement was made today at the World Forum on Urban Forests in Mantova, Italy.

"Now more than ever, trees and forests are a vital component of healthy, livable, and sustainable communities around the globe," said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. "That is why we have joined forces with FAO to recognize cities and towns committed to ensuring that urban forests and trees are properly maintained and celebrated."

The vision of the Tree Cities of the World Programme is to connect cities around the world in a new network dedicated to sharing and adopting the most successful approaches to managing community trees and forests. Recognition through the Tree Cities of the World programme represents the first step towards achieving a green vision for the qualifying communities.

"We firmly believe that the objective of making our cities green, healthier and happier places to live can only be achieved through strong partnerships," said Simone Borelli of FAO. "We have been working very closely with the Arbor Day Foundation to develop the Trees Cities of the World programme and we are confident that it will stimulate local administration to take concrete actions towards better planning design and management of their urban forests and trees."

To receive recognition, a town or a city must meet five core standards:

§ STANDARD 1: Establish Responsibility

The community has a written statement by city leaders delegating responsibility for the care of trees within the municipal boundary to a staff member, a city department or a group of citizens – called a Tree Board.

§ STANDARD 2: Know the Rules

The community adopts policies, best practices or industry standards for managing urban trees and forests. These rules describe how work must be performed, where and when they apply and penalties for noncompliance.

§ STANDARD 3: Know What You Have

The community has an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource so that an effective long-term plan for planting, care and removal of city trees can be established.

§ STANDARD 4: Allocate the Resources

The community has a dedicated annual budget for routine implementation of the tree management plan.

§ STANDARD 5: Celebrate Achievements

The community holds an annual celebration of trees to raise awareness among residents and to acknowledge citizens and staff members who carry out the city tree programme.

For more information on Tree Cities of the World and to see how your community can get involved please visit


About the Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, more than 300 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at

About FAO

Established in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations system that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. The Organization is comprised of 194 Member States, 2 associate members and 1 member organization – The European Union. Its aim is to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living for all people in FAO member countries, to secure improvements in the efficiency of production and distribution of food and agricultural products, to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources and to contribute towards expanding the world economy and ensure humanity's freedom from hunger. FAO is currently present in over 130 countries. More information is available at

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