Standardizing the Return on Investment in Urban and Community Forestry Resources

Photo Credit: Eric Reed 

A universally accepted accounting framework to holistically measure the benefits and costs of urban and community forest resources does not exist.  EFC is partnering with organizations versed in carbon trading, financing mechanisms, research, and urban forest management to develop a standardized, replicable, and transparent accounting system that can assess return on urban tree canopy investments for private, nonprofit, and public investors.   

Currently, there are over 4,000 organizations that manage urban and community forest services and operate on local and national scales in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. These organizations use various models and subjectively prioritize the benefit of investment in their cost-benefit analysis to appease funders/investors, and generally, lack the full context of investment in urban forest services. As a solution, National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) engaged EFC to provide a standardized accounting framework for the urban forest community to holistically measure the benefits and costs of urban and community forest investments. The system will help urban forest managers collect information to justify and request support as well as improve the effectiveness and efficiency of obtaining resources. The University of Maryland has engaged a group of nationwide experts to inform the development of the framework and will provide case studies on framework use. 

Partners

Center for Regional Analysis

Mark McPherson, City Forest Credits

Kathy Wolf, University of Washington, College of the Environment

Quantified Ventures

Sponsors

 U.S. Forest Service National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council

Team Members

Program / Center Affiliation