You & Me: Urban Centers

Our actions are directly tied to the health of the forest ecosystem. Our health is directly tied to that of the forest.

We must develop responsible consumer practices and engage urban centers in a more effective way to conserve our forests and our lives.

How are urban consumers connected to all of this?

Connecting Urban & Forest Communities

Our everyday lives in the cities can seem completely cut off from what happens to forest areas and their communities. But the truth is, cities and forests are inexorably connected.


Cities have a huge impact on forest areas, as they consume forest resources, and send out pollution that reaches back to the forests. 

Healthy forests are essential to the most basic aspects of our lives, from filtering the air we breathe and the water we use, to providing many of the products we consume. Far more of these products than we may realize have their origins in the forests of South-East Asia.


This market relationship with cities can be good for the forests, if managed properly. But all too often the interests of large-scale, state-sponsored projects are put first. Forests and their communities end up bearing the brunt of the costs, but without sharing in the benefits...  

60%
of the world's population will be living in urban centers by 2030. 68% will live in cities by 2050.
Source: UN Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs
Palm oil,
an ingredient in a wide range of cosmetics and foodstuffs, is often supplied via land concessions in Malaysia and Indonesia and contributes to deforestation in the region.
In order to achieve sustainable management of forests, forests communities need more engagement and support from urban communitiesRECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests is working to develop responsible consumer practices and engage urban youth more effectively to conserve the region’s forests.
If we help the forest, we will also be helping ourselves. Sustainable management of forest resources will ensure that we can continue to enjoy forestry products and services into the future.

Working Together for our Future

RECOFTC is working to support youth circles to inform and motivate young people in the cities about forest communities and how to protect and support them. We will be creating a range of spaces for youth to engage with these issues, including social media.


There is also increasing interest in how to bring forests into cities, in both suburban and central locations. This can help urban centers avoid heat accumulation, filter their air and water, and even provide some of their food. They can also boost governance in the cities by bringing together citizens’ groups, municipal authorities and the private sector to share the management and benefits of the green spaces.