Community trees and forests provide many social and environmental benefits, including improved health and well-being, social cohesion and accessibility, outdoor learning environments, climate change solutions, reduced air pollution, and improved urban design. They also help combat climate change by capturing greenhouse gases and mitigating urban heat island effects in cities while improving public health and well-being, providing recreation space, and so much more. Urban forestry is the sustained planning, planting, protection, maintenance, management and care of trees, forests, and greenspaces, along with related resources in and around cities and communities for economic, environmental, social, and public health benefits. Urban and community forestry involves planning and managing urban forests to promote the many benefits trees provide for people, wildlife and the climate. Urban and community forests face significant threats from climate change, invasive and native insects, animals, plants, and diseases, and water shortages. To counter these threats, SFI formed a task group to evaluate the topic and surveyed the urban and community forestry sector in 2020 about bringing a standard and certification to the sector. Standards and their associated certifications are effective tools to increase engagement and improve performance. Standards are sector-developed minimum guidelines for appropriate planning, management, and care of a resource and their associated benefits and risks. Not only do standards provide a roadmap to sustainable management, they also allow organizations to prove their efforts through third-party verification and certification.
For additional climate information, look at the Resources section of this example (below).