The Quito-Palugo Bridge
Cities4Forests co-created a pilot project at the 2019 Jardin Botanico's International Orchid Exhibition demonstrating the potential of forest-positive wood in urban construction. Over 12,000 people attended the 4-day exhibition to witness the breathtaking beauty of 5,000 types of orchids and bromeliads from around the world, and to reflect on how their natural habitats can be conserved for future generations. In designing the bridge, the Cities4Forests team collaborated with a local indigenous sawmill based in Palugo, and local architects and carpenters, to use eucalyptus sourced from trees inside the municipality that must be removed to make way for native forest restoration. This bridge is part of process to keep forests standing by supporting sustainable livelihoods, and community conservation and restoration work. Read more about the project here.
Conversations about Climate Change
Led by the UK's Timber Trade Federation and The Building Centre, the Conversations about Climate Change exhibition shows how cities can support tropical forests through public engagement. The exhibition invited six artists to produce conversation pieces to stimulate conversations about tropical wood and its place in our culture using FLEGT-licensed tropical timber. Read more about the exhibition here.
McGill-AMARIE Carbon Offsetting Project
Monteal, Canada's McGill University provides a strong example for cities to engage in Partner Forest programs around carbon offsetting via the reforestation of tropical forests. Building on the longstanding connection to the two Panamanian forests of Piriatí and Ipetí, and the Asociacion de Mujeres Artesanas de Ipetí Emberá (AMARIE), and the traditional authorities of Congreso General Emberá de Alto Bayano, McGill committed in 2020 to provide funds to purchase a minimum volume of offsets. Furthermore, the project is scalable, giving the university the option to purchase offsets until 2045. Students continue to be given the option to study, visit, and learn from the project through the Panama Field Study Semester. Read more about the project here.
One World Bridge
The One World Bridge – made by Belgian artist Arne Quinze for the Tomorrowland music festival in 2014 – represents the power of art, music, culture, public space, and tropical wood in bringing people together available to cities. The bridge was constructed with 200,000 planks of FSC-certified Okan wood, half of which were laser-engraved with positive messages from festival attendees. The bridge was inaugurated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who stated that the bridge "symbolizes some of the core values the United Nations strives to uphold every day around the world: dignity, respect, diversity and solidarity." Read more about the project here and watch the video series on the design and construction of the bridge.
Video introduction to the Quito Partner Forest Bridge
Community members of Piriatí, Panama plant trees for the McGill-AMARIE Carbon Offsetting Program
(Image via McGill University)