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Pacific Urban Forum


30 November – 2 December, 2011, Nadi, Fiji


The Pacific Urban Forum, organized by UN ESCAP Pacific Office, UN Habitat and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) was held between 30 November and 2 December 2011 in Nadi, Fiji. More than 60 people attended, with delegates from Pacific Island countries including Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu along with development partners (Asian Development Bank, AusAID, New Zealand Aid Programme, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility, UNDP and UNFPA), NGOs and academia. The Pacific Urban Forum revisited the Pacific Urban Agenda 2 (2007) and moved discussion forward, centring on mobilising action to address the region’s urban challenges.

The plenary learned of numerous activities and advances in urban policy initiatives undertaken by Pacific Island countries. Dialogue throughout the forum focused on the need for greater leadership and the cultivation of “champions” of urban issues. More effective communication of achievements, the critical role of effective partnerships and the importance of accurate monitoring were also signalled as methods of achieving advancement of the Pacific Urban Agenda.


[Pacific Urban Forum 2011, Delegates ]


The Forum recognised the need to urge the region’s political leadership to acknowledge that the rapid growth of urban populations will continue and must be appropriately addressed to maximize benefits, which can be harnessed if the foundations for successful urban areas in the Pacific are effectively planned. This means planning for cities, towns and urban centres that promote socially inclusive development, coordinate urban policy across all areas of government, adapt to climate change, move boldly to renewable energy, embrace sustainable consumption, engage with traditional land owners and where communities are linked with good communication. An important aspect of effective urban planning is addressing the adaptation challenges posed by climate change. This includes current exposure to natural hazards and the concentration of population and infrastructure in vulnerable coastal areas. The meeting agreed on ways of providing support to the Pacific in urgently addressing the challenges of urbanisation and in enhancing the contribution of urban centers which while strained, are still the engines of economic growth.

The forum ended with a reaffirmed commitment to the Pacific Urban Agenda as a framework for action and participants agreed on key action points to carry forward. A draft outcomes document has been circulated for comment and finalisation is expected in late December 2011.


Pacific Urban Forum (PUF) Programme
List of Participants
Pacific Urban Forum (PUF) Outcomes Document

Presentations - Day 1

Commentary: Graham Hassall, Victoria University, Wellington
Session 1 An Overview of Pacific Urban Issues, Alastair Wilkinson, ESCAP Conusltant
  Urbanisation: Driving Growth and Development, Paul Jones, University of Sydney
Session 2 Urban Issues in Kiribati, Eliza Tokataake, Kiribati
  Urban Development in Fiji, Losana Rokotuibau, Fijii
  Orange City Council (Aus) and Mt Hagen, PNG, Stephen Sykes, Australia

Cafe Discussions

Question 1 What does urban look like in the Pacific? What is the vision for the Pacific cities and towns?
Question 2 What the Gaps in Urban Planning & Management capacity at the National & Local Government Level? What are the challenges for devolution of planning powers and responsibilities?
Question 3 If we are serious about urban planning and management where do we start? what is preventing more effective policy and leadership?
Question 4 What is the role of traditional leaders in Urban Planning and Management? How can we engage and get them interested?
Question 5 How can we balance the traditional rights of landowners against the rights of urban residents for a reasonable quality of life and certainty to invest in housing and infrastructure?
Question 6 How do we persuade government (and donors) to invest in urban management, housing and infrastructure? Who's paying?
Other Discussion Questions

Presentations - Day 2

Session 3 Review of PUA and RAF, Paul Jones, University of Sydney
Session 4 Managing Urban Issues within National Planning, Ana Ika, Tonga
  Governance & Planning Approaches for Sustainable Urban Development, Daniel Rove,- Solomon Islands
  Making In-Roads for the Urban Agenda in National Planning, Max Kep, Papua New Guinea
Session 5 Principles for Financing Sustainable Urban Infrastructure in the Context of Climate Change, Adnan Aliani, UNESCAP
  The Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Centre, Jan William Overbeek
  The Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility, John Larcombe
  Urban Development and Climate Change, Marc Overmars, ADB
What do we need to better address urban concerns? Is it a regional framework?
The Way Forward

Presentations - Day 3

Session 6 New Zealand Aid Programme urban development activities in the Pacific, Luke Kiddle, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  The Role of Partners in Supporting Urban Development in the Pacific, Maria Paniagua, ADB
  The Commonwealth Local Government Forum in the Pacific, Megan Praeger, CLGF Pacific

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