Urbanization, while a powerful force for sustainable development, has posed many challenges to national and local governments in the Pacific: overstretched infrastructure, growing informal settlements in urban and peri-urban areas that are highly vulnerable; the urbanization of poverty; the projected youth bulge coupled with high youth unemployment. Pacific urban centers are also threatened by geological disasters and already feeling acute impacts of climate change.
However these challenges have the potential to be transformative, to usher in a new era of resource efficiency and economic development, to adjust systems and legislation to be fit for purpose, create new platforms for collaboration that enable opportunities to influence the future.
This session will present the outcomes of the recent 5th Pacific Urban Forum "Accelerating the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to Achieve the SDGs in the Pacific”. It will further highlight practical approaches that governments in the Pacific have taken in the face of these pressing challenges and issues. Practical because administrations in the Pacific, both national and local, often find themselves operating within a multitude of constraints, ranging from low financial and human resources to inadequate policy framework. Particular focus will be given to multi-level governance and collective platforms that have been created and how these engage horizontally and vertically across stakeholders and governance, including with traditional governance and public/private partnerships.
The session will also facilitate information exchange and learning between the panelists, policy-makers and practitioners from the Pacific, and the audience from the wider Asia-Pacific region.