FIG at the World Habitat Day 2004

Inter-Regional Conference on Urban-Rural Linkages

1-4 October, 2004, United Nations Office
Nairobi, Kenya

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The conference was held at the main auditorium of the United Nations in Gigiri, Nairobi.
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Participants outside the conference hall.

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Rob Mahoney (on the right).

The conference on Urban-Rural Linkages in Nairobi was organised by UN-HABITAT and co-sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG).

The objective of the conference is to create and promote awareness among national economic and social development decision-makers and planners, their policy advisers and urban-rural development actors, of the need for enhancing the balanced territorial development of both rural and urban areas.

The Conference was designed to achieve this by pooling, collating, synthesizing and sharing experiences and lessons learned, with a view to stimulating mutual learning, capacity-building and utilisation. The conference was opened by His Excellency Hon. A. A. Moody Awori the Vice President of Republic of Kenya and there were several government ministers among the delegates, majority of whom were from Africa and Asia

The key note speakers included Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Mr. Bakary Kante Director, Division of Policy Development and Law United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Mr. Ali Mchumo Managing Director, Common Fund for Commodities

The FIG Marrakech Declaration (FIG publication 33) was presented to UN-HABITAT by Rob Mahoney. The Marrakech Declaration is a significant publication reporting the findings of the Second FIG Regional Conference held in Marrakech in December 2003 and provided a major input to the conference. The declaration is designed to define ways that professionals, governments and the public and private sector can work together to address the complex and interrelated issues of Institutional and Governance Concepts; Infrastructure and Land & Natural Resources; together with Capacity Building and Change Management. The major themes of the Marrakech Declaration were well coordinated with the main issues discussed at the conference.

Rob Mahoney chaired a half day workshop to consolidate the conference outcomes in the areas of Institutional/organizational structures, strategies and tools for effective integration of the urban-rural linkages integration in development planning and implementation. These outcomes were used by Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka in her address about the conference at World Habitat Day in Nairobi.

The theme of the World Habitat Day this year - Cities: engines of rural development reflected the substance and significance of the conference and provided an opportunity to send and publicize the outcome of the conference to all cities and countries participating in the World Habitat Day.

The conclusions of the conference are currently being finalised, they are likely to include statements on:

  • underlining critical urban-rural development
  • calling on governments to adopt a more holistic and integrated regional-planning approach to investment decision making
  • calling for improved rural urban communication links and the stimulation of growth of small and medium-sized towns to help alleviate the intensification of slum development
  • A cross-sectoral institutional structure/framework to support effective environmental planning and management together with economic and social programmes as well as development of physical infrastructure

FIG also present at the Habitat Day celebrations in Geneva

FIG was also invited to the Habitat Day 2004 celebrations in Geneva October 4, 2004. The Roundtable on "Cities - Engines of Rural Development" was organised by the Geneva Office of the UN-HABITAT. The Roundtable was attended by about 40 invited participants. Jürg Kaufmann represented FIG at the Roundtable introducing the newly launched Marrakech Statement.

More information:

Rob Mahoney – October 2004