Commonwealth Local Government Forum

CLGF Pacific members tackling rapid urbanisation

15 January 2019

At a regional workshop held in December in Nadi, CLGF Pacific members gathered to develop a collective understanding of the issues and processes relating to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) in the Pacific region. Focusing on the role of local government in the NUA, the workshop was convened to prepare for the Fifth Pacific Urban Forum (PUF) to be held in May, 2019. 

 

A total of 41 senior national and local government officials from ten Pacific Island countries – Cook Islands, Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu – participated in the workshop, together with representatives of development partners, CLGF and, active in the sector, UNDP, UN Pacific Risk Resilience Programme, UN ESCAP, UN Habitat, Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Human Settlements (EAROPH) and Compass Housing. 

 

National and regional priorities 

 

Informed by what has been happening in the urban space in the Pacific, including the outcomes of the last PUF held in 2015, the NUA and the SDG framework, participants took stock of the state of play of all things urban in the region. They then identified national and regional urban priorities for local government, and developed a regional framework plan to take the urban agenda forward.

 

Pillars to underpin actions

 

Five pillars underpinning key action areas that will help deliver cities for all were agreed:

 

  1. Strengthen urban governance (the ‘engine room’) – update policy and legislation, institutional strengthening and enhance engagement with key local government stakeholders.
  2. Enhance social equity and inclusivity – update policy and legislative framework.
  3. Environment and resilience – respond to climate change, improve land use planning and waste management.
  4. Harness the urban economy – provide effective services, simplify business licences and facilitate the informal sector.
  5. Improve urban infrastructure – improve water supply and waste management

 

Local to regional action

 

The workshop concluded that local government is the key to well-managed urban growth and development. Participants emphasised that we need to come together as a region when implementing local government priorities as coordinated local to regional action is needed to harness the development advantages of cities.

 

The workshop outcomes will be taken forward through each national government’s processes and submitted to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, as well as informing the agenda for the PUF in May.

 

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UCLG and local government

Durban became the focus for all things local this November, when it hosted the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments' Summit. 

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