Over 923,000 properties surveyed and registered in twelve municipalities. 15 strategic action plans completed, resultant infrastructure projects completed at municipal and district levels. Over USD 7 million in additional revenues have been collected from municipal services charge from 300,000 properties The Virtual Pacific Urban Forum (VPUF) was held on 26 August 2021. UN-Habitat was joined by seven Pacific development partners and eight country delegations on two panels. Over 100 participants including 20 speakers from across the region participated in the forum. In the last two years since the Fifth Pacific Urban Forum (PUF5) was held in 2019, the dual challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerating impacts of climate change have imposed increasing pressure on Pacific towns and cities. Against this backdrop, the 2021 VPUF provided a regional platform to discuss the current state of progress and challenges towards sustainable urban development and the way forward to achieve the Pacific New Urban Agenda (PNUA) commitments through the launch of a regional partnership, the Pacific Partnership for the New Urban Agenda (PP-NUA). The PP-NUA brings together 8 regional organisations, including UN-Habitat, ESCAP, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Compass Housing Services, EAROPH, ICLEI Oceania, Melbourne University and Monash University, to accelerate action on sustainable urban development.
The participants acknowledged the importance of a regional partnership to ensure integrated delivery of actions and agreed on accelerating PNUA implementation through strategic integration of sustainable urban development in national development plans, urban policies and sector plans to achieve the Sustainable Development goals in the Pacific.
The following actions took place in the forum:
- Reinvigoration of the implementation of the PNUA and country commitments to sustainable urban development in the Pacific region.
- Country presentations on the ongoing urban development and COVID-19 recovery challenges for countries in the Pacific region across five interconnected working areas: social equity and urbanisation, environmental resilience and infrastructure, urban governance, urban economy, and COVID-19 impacts and recovery.
- Launch of the PP-NUA to provide resources and support national urban stakeholders to achieve their NUA commitments.
- Sharing and learning on the progress of Pacific countries towards their PUF5 commitments and identify areas for further collaboration and knowledge sharing through PP-NUA.
- Elaboration on PP-NUA and work of partners, as well as the support and expertise they can offer to Pacific communities to deliver across the five working pillars.
The outcomes of the VFUP will guide the upcoming PP-NUA roadmap and work programme to be more responsive to the urban development needs of Pacific stakeholders.