Thursday, 18 December 2014 01:00

Waters and Cities: consultation towards Habitat III Urban Agenda

GWOPA is leading a consultation to coordinate water sector stakeholders’ inputs on the evolving New Urban Agenda that will be finalized during the Habitat III Conference in October 2016.

What is the New Urban Agenda ?
At the Habitat III Conference that will take place in Quito, Ecuador, a New Urban Agenda will be set by UN Member states. This Agenda will renew political commitment and define the course for global efforts to guide more sustainable urban development for the next 20 years.

What is the drafting process for the New Urban Agenda?
The New Urban Agenda document is being drafted over the 18 months leading up to the Habitat III Conference through a multi-stage, participatory process. At the current stage of drafting, Policy Papers are being reviewed before being compiled as the first draft of the final New Urban Agenda in April 2016 and presented to member states for final iterations.

Opportunities for parties other than the Policy Units and UN Member States to make inputs on the content of the papers is therefore right now, prior to the next meetings of the policy units. As many stakeholders have expressed interest in having a voice in the drafting, GWOPA is organizing a consultation and EGM to gather diverse perspectives from the water sector.

Why is a Waters Perspective Needed ?
As the world urbanizes, water is increasingly an urban issue. Water security in urban areas is however under threat in many countries due to rapidly increasing demand for water, increased pollution and poor wastewater management, uncontrolled and more frequent floods and droughts enhanced by climate change, and poor planning. Water sector stakeholders are increasingly aware that cities are where the greatest challenges and opportunities for better water management lie.

Cities are complex and water is only one of many perspectives that need to be taken into account in promoting “inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable” urbanization. Nevertheless, the foundation that sound water management provides for all aspects of sustainable urban development needs to be adequately reflected in the framework that will guide urban development in the coming decades. Furthermore, the text must support policies and actions that enable sound integrated water management, recognizing water’s inherently cross-cutting nature and interdependence with other aspects of urban development.

Various stakeholders have commented that water does not yet receive the attention that it needs in the evolving New Urban Agenda. Of the 22 Issue Papers that are the departure point for the work of the Policy Units, water appears prominently in only the paper on Urban Infrastructure and Basic Services and Urban Ecosystems and Resource Management, while it stands to be roundly considered in many others.

OUTCOME OF THE CONSULTATION

The consultation will produce a consolidated outcome document which will consist of:

  1. An introductory section providing general argumentation for giving water greater consideration in the New Urban Agenda and
  2. Specific comments and recommendations on each of the (relevant) individual policy papers.

The final output will be sent to the relevant Policy Units for consideration in their next round of drafting. The outcome document will be a joint product of all contributors and will recognize the contributions of each.

CONTRIBUTING

Making written comments is the easiest way to contribute. Comments on the Issue Papers are being collected by the GWOPA Secretariat until January 25th, 2016. Reviewers must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All draft Papers can be accessed here.
  • Comments must be made in a separate document that makes reference to the Issue Papers. Track changes to the Issue papers, or separate documents not making reference to the Issue papers’ current text, will not be accepted.
  • Comments can be made on any or all of the New Urban Agenda component thematic Issue Papers. The paper under question should be clearly indicated by in the header. General comments that apply to more than one issue paper should be labelled as such.
  • Comments should be constructive and include recommendations wherever possible.
  • Due to time constraints, all comments must be made in English. Note that issue papers are nevertheless available for review in all official UN Languages.
  • All submissions must indicate the name and affiliation of the reviewer(s). Collective reviews that bring together comments from multiple reviewers, are encouraged. Network organizations are encouraged to compile comments made from their members.
  • Comments should be sent to GWOPA by no later than Janu-ary 25th

To submit your contribution or for further information, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (watersinthenewurbanagenda[a]gwopa.org).

A Cross-Cutting Expert Group Meeting (EGM) will also be held in Barcelona (early February) as part of this consultation. Contact us for more details or if you would like to participate. 

Additional Info

  • Description Resume: Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016.

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  • Water pollution is the main problem in each country. As water is an urban issue it should be under strict control. However, pollution is just half way, what about water waste? I hope to visit the conference in Quito, since I will be there that time. I would love to ask assignment questions and expect to hear radical plan on improving water state.

    Comment last edited on about 1 year ago by Leo Kaufman
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