• Thursday 20 Oct 2016
  • Climate Resilient Urbanization for Pacific Islands Communities

    Side Events
    Venue: R8
    Lead Organization:
    • Pacific Islands Urban Realities (PIUR).
    Partner Organizations:
    • And RMIT University,
    • Local Governments For Sustainability (ICLEI),
    • United Nations Economic And Social Commission For Asia And The Pacific (UNESCAP),
    • United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN- Habitat).

    Over the two decades since Habitat II urban populations in Pacific Islands Countries (PICs) have grown, on average, at twice the rate of their national populations. Driven largely by rural-to-urban migration, these emerging cities face a diverse array of economic, environmental and social issues, such as employment growth, affordable housing, inequality and demographic transformation. Interconnected with Pacific urbanization is the region’s high level of vulnerability to climate change, which threatens traditional livelihood resources, marine and low-lying island areas, and existing development goals such as health improvement and poverty alleviation. This event will draw on contrasting examples of planning for climate resilient urbanization from across these Pacific small islands developing states, providing a platform for the region’s inputs to the New Urban Agenda, and the Conference. It will showcase the outcomes of the fourth Pacific Urban Forum (PUF 4), held in Nadi, Fiji in March 2015, which concluded with a call to find sustainable solutions to the challenges of urbanization and on towns, cities and urban centres in the Pacific region. Case study insights will be also provided by representatives of local government, academia, UN agencies and peak regional bodies. The session will review some of the key regional themes and processes for implementing climate resilient urbanization, such as the mainstreaming of climate change into urbanization policies in Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and the Solomon Islands, and the profiling of hazard-prone informal settlements in Fiji and Vanuatu. The potential role of regional knowledge sharing through forums, online platforms, and personnel exchanges will highlight opportunities for embedding the New Urban Agenda within the region’s development processes, and allowing implementation in one of the world’s most diverse, remote and climate vulnerable groups of nations.