Hyderabad City is the only city from India to have been recognized as a 2020 Tree City of the World by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for its commitment to growing and maintaining the urban forest.
Through this recognition, Hyderabad City will join a network of like-minded cities who recognise the importance of trees in building healthy, resilient and happy cities. It has earned recognition in the Foundation’s second year of the programme along with 51 other cities in the World, during 2020 & cumulative 120 cities from 63 countries, while being the only City in India to get this recognition so far. Most of the cities were from countries like US, UK, Canada, Australia etc.
Congratulating Hyderabad on earning 2020 Tree Cities of the world recognition alongside 120 cities from 63 countries, President, Arbor Day Foundation, Dan Lambe said that “your city is part of an important global network leading the way in urban and community forestry”.
While appreciating earning this prestigious status, he remarked that now more than ever, trees and forests are a vital component of healthy livable, and sustainable cities and towns around the globe, Hyderabad’s commitment to effective urban forest management is helping to ensure better future for its residents, said Dan Lambe while announcing that they would further celebrate this distinction in a global press release to be released on March 1, 2021.
The city, to be eligible under the category of Tree City need to confirm the following 5 standards:
Standard 1: Establish Responsibility
The city has a written statement by city leaders delegating responsibility for the care of trees within the municipal boundary to a staff member, a city department, or a group of citizens—called a Tree Board.
Standard 2: Set the Rules
The city has in place a law or an official policy that governs the management of forests and trees. These rules describe how work must be performed—often citing best practices or industry standards for tree care and worker safety—where and when they apply, and penalties for noncompliance.
Standard 3: Know What You Have
The city has an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource so that an effective long-term plan for planting, care, and removal of city trees can be established.
Standard 4: Allocate the Resources
The city has a dedicated annual budget for the routine implementation of the tree management plan.
Standard 5: Celebrate Achievements
The city holds an annual celebration of trees to raise awareness among residents and to acknowledge citizens and staff members who carry out the city tree programme.
Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department (MA&UD) has applied to this recognition based on an online submission done on 31st Jan, 2021. MA&UD Department of Government of Telangana has been in the forefront and executing Haritha Haram program since inception. Apart from that, Urban Forest Blocks are also being developed in identified pockets.
Hyderabad City has pledged their commitment by meeting five programme standards that show their dedication and determination towards planting and conserving trees for a greener future.
Hyderabad City is demonstrating leadership in the management of its urban trees and is serving as part of the solution to many of the global issues we face today.
Reacting to this achievement, the Minister for Municipal Administration KT Rama Rao said: “This recognition is a testament to its sustained and institutional efforts to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees, development of urban and peri-urban forestry actions, projects, and strategic planning and commitment to building a healthy city now and for the future”.