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12 de July de 2017Empowered municipal administration to better manage urban green spaces

CAF and FAO organized a forum to discuss the most effective measures to empower municipal administration and achieve a better quality of life through an improved management of green spaces

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According to WHO, at least 9 square meters of green space per person are required, in addition to 15-minute walks for citizens to enjoy good health. This last requirement represents a significant challenge for most cities in the region, as this require addressing four qualitative aspects: landscape quality, accessibility and inclusion, safety and availability.

This situation poses an enormous challenge for public municipal administration in Latin America, which is only decentralized from federal or state environmental administration in a few cases.

In order to discuss the most effective measures to empower municipal administration and improve quality of life among residents, CAF and FAO brought together renowned experts on the subject at the Latin American and Caribbean Forum on Urban Forestry, Arboriculture and Landscaping for Urban Forests and Green Spaces.

The event gathered municipal authorities, green area managers, universities, research centers, NGOs, professional associations, domestic and international organizations, and multilateral agencies from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, U.S., United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Participants agreed with several of CAF's roadmaps: one to improve the regional landscape by establishing a methodology to assess the economic impact of urban forests and green spaces in municipal administration; one for public consultation, appropriation and participation in urban forests and green spaces; one for inventories and diagnostics of urban forests and green spaces; one for the structuring and development of urban forestry master plans; one for the selection of tree species in urban green spaces; one for the inclusion of urban forests and green spaces in municipal planning; one for urban forests and green spaces as structural and connecting cores of green infrastructure and wildlife corridors; and one for the municipal planning of maintenance and urban forest and green space recovery.

CAF is the only multilateral financial entity currently addressing the region's issues. Its research on the vulnerability of the cities of Arequipa, Guayaquil and CIOESTE (Inter-municipal Consortium of the Western Metropolitan Region of São Paulo) indicates that between 80 and 90 percent of the measures taken to adapt to climate change are linked to urban forests and green spaces.

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