The Arbor Day Foundation and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation have recognised Hyderabad as the 2020 Tree City of the World. Hyderabad is the only Indian city to have received this recognition for its commitment to growing and maintaining the urban forest. Through this recognition, Hyderabad will join a network of like-minded cities who recognise the importance of trees in building healthy, resilient and happy cities, officials said on Thursday. Hyderabad earned recognition in the Foundation’s second year of the program along with 51 other cities across the world in 2020 and cumulatively 120 cities from 63 countries. Most of the cities are from countries like the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

The city, to be eligible under the category of TreeCity needs to confirm to five standards — ‘EstablishResponsibility’ (the city having a written statement by city leaders delegating responsibility for the care of trees),’ Set the Rules’ (the city has in place a law or an official policy that governs the management of forests and trees) and ‘Know what you have (the city has an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource). The other two standards are ‘Allocate the Resources’ (the city has a dedicated annual budget for the routine implementation of the tree management plan) and ‘Celebrate Achievements’ (the city holds an annual celebration of trees to raise awareness among residents).

Congratulating Hyderabad on earning 2020 Tree Cities of the world recognition, Dan Lambe, President, Arbor Day Foundation, said “your city is part of an important global network leading the way in urban and community forestry. 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.”