|Urban and peri-urban forestry in Quito, Ecuador: a case-study. (1997)|
The FAO Forestry Department's programme in urban and peri-urban forestry was launched in 1994 to better understand the role of trees and forests in improving the lives of urban dwellers and enhancing the urban environment. This field has received little attention from the international community to date. It is, however, a subject of growing importance in light of the rapid urbanization taking place in many developing countries and the demand for healthier living conditions in urban areas worldwide.
The programme has, in these initial years, concentrated on examining the role of urban and peri-urban forestry in developing countries, on increasing awareness of the issue, and on improving documentation and accessibility of information on the subject. The first publication by the programme was, "The Potential of Urban Forestry in Developing Countries: A Concept Paper", published in 1994. In compiling the concept paper and various journal articles, it became apparent that there was a lack of easily accessible information on urban and peri-urban forestry in developing countries. That which did exist, was scattered widely. To help address this problem, the programme published "An Annotated Bibliography on Urban Forestry in Developing Countries" in 1995 and began work on a series of case studies.
This publication on Quito is one of six case studies commissioned to document work in urban and peri-urban forestry in the different developing regions of the world. The other case studies cover Cairo, Tehran, the Sahelian countries, Rio di Janeiro, and a comparative study on Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. It is hoped that these case studies will prove to be useful to those working on urban and peri-urban forestry programmes elsewhere, by providing information on issues faced and approaches taken by others. The case studies are also meant to illustrate to those unfamiliar with the field, that it is both a complex and fascinating subject, an area of forestry where social and ecological concerns are most closely intertwined.
A number of people were involved in this study. The author was Sharon Murray, who has worked for several years in Quito in the field of urban forestry. In compiling the study she received assistance from colleagues in Fundación Natura, an NGO which has been instrumental in urban forestry development in Quito, a number of municipal officials, and a variety of other people in the city. Susan Braatz, the FAO officer responsible for the urban forestry programme, managed the study. Assistance in the production of the publication was provided by Lise Andreasen, Alexia Baldascini and Elisa Rubini.