Cities4Forests Amsterdam and Rotterdam
Amsterdam and Rotterdam are two of six European cities that have been invited to engage in the Cities4Forests partnership to showcase community-forest enterprises and the conservation benefits of using sustainably sourced ‘conservation timber’ and the wood product that result from it. These high-visibility exchanges will promote consumer awareness, forest stewardship, and urban policies that exhibit leadership on climate and biodiversity. These local-to-local partnerships can demonstrate the power of “thinking globally, and acting locally.”
Conservation timber is wood that supports long-term forest conservation. It generates financial incentives for well-governed sustainable forestry and local forest-dependent communities who act as forest stewards. To pilot the Partner Forest program at a small scale, conservation timber will be sourced for new outdoor public infrastructure such as bridges and benches.
The city of Amsterdam
The City of Amsterdam (NL) entered into a pilot project with the village and community of Bigi Poika (Akarani) in Suriname, aiming at a lasting relationship between the two, based on equality and respect, mutual trust and understanding and for the benefit of both. The choice of this community in Suriname, a former colony of the Netherlands, is motivated by the fact that 12.8% of the ‘Amsterdammers’ have a Surinamese background (including first and second-generation) . The village of Bigi Poika is located in the district of Para and its community forest borders the Saramacca River and the Coesewijne Nature Reserve. More information about this wonderful village, to understand the importance of this project and to get a unique insight into the daily life of villagers can be found here: De kinderen van Akarani - (eigenterrein.nl)
The city of Rotterdam
Rotterdam took another path and made a different choice. At the moment, they are in the process of making benches from conservation timber from different communities in Central America. Consideration is also being given to decking where there is room for Lesser Known Timber Species (LKTS).
In general, the creation of long-lasting forest partnerships between cities and communities in the tropics managing their own community forests is crucial in support of their livelihoods and community development. Due to the Cities4Forests’ Partner Forest communities have access to global markets. Once finished, the project will display information and a QR code that connects with the community through Cities4Forests’ Partner Forests website to raise awareness. This website will provide information on where the wood has come from and will virtually connect the people of those cities to Partner Forest community members (e.g. through a video message).
Binnenlands Bestuur, René Didde: Bankjes en bruggen van tropisch hardhout
Uitvoerders: Mark van Benthem, Sietze van Dijk en Bryndis Perdijk
Opdrachtgever: Cities4Forest (C4F) & World Research Institute (WRI)
Periode van uitvoering: 2022-2023