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The Cities4Forests Toolbox

Merida, a city in Mexico’s lush Yucatán Peninsula, is home to 2.3 million trees, which cover over 20 percent of the metropolitan area. Merida’s officials know that these trees provide benefits to the residents, but until recently they didn’t know how much these benefits were worth or how they were distributed across the city. That made it difficult for the officials to know where to focus their limited budget and tough for them to advocate for more resources.

Thankfully, there’s a tool for this. With help from USDA Forest Service, Mérida officials conducted an analysis using i-Tree Eco, a free tool that quantifies the climate, health, and water benefits that trees and forests provide to cities. The analysis found that Mérida’s trees sequester over 16,000 tons of carbon each year.

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