Host Country Agreement signed with Italy

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New EFI office in Rome established

On 15 July EFI and the Italian government signed a Host Country Agreement to establish a new office in Rome. The office will host EFI’s new Biocities Facility, which aims to create an informed dialogue on how trees, forests and wood can contribute to rethinking our cities, so they can lead the transformation towards a climate-neutral and nature-positive economy.

EFI Director Marc Palahí and the Italian Ambassador to Finland, Sergio Pagano signing the HCA in Helsinki in July 2021.


The Facility will develop a new and holistic conceptual framework for the use of green infrastructures and biobased solutions in urban environments, looking at research questions such as:

  •  What are the benefits of urban forests for human health and wellbeing, as well as for climate-biodiversity smart cities - and how can these forests be governed and managed?
  • What role can wood play in reimagining cities globally, including buildings, fashion, packaging and transport in view of the need to decarbonize and make cities circular and nature positive?
  • Which urban planning strategies, tools (including indicators) and policy instruments are necessary to facilitate a forest-driven transition to circular biocities?

The Facility will also open new collaborations and opportunities for EFI’s member organizations to partner with new disciplines, policy makers and sectors. ”Cities have made possible the economic transformation – fossil based and consumption oriented- that has shaped the last hundred years. Cities, now, need to take the lead in rethinking our world, so that it gives birth to a new economy, where life, and not consumption becomes its true engine and purpose - a circular bioeconomy powered by Nature" said EFI Director Marc Palahí. (Read more in a recent blog post)