President Stig Enemark attends the 5th World Urban Forum in Rio, and meeting of the GLTN International Advisory Board

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 22-26 March 2010

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The famous Copacabana beach with the Sugar Loaf cliff in the background.

The Fifth World Urban Forum (WUF5) organised by UN-HABITAT took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 22-26 March 2010. The theme of this WUF5 was “The Right to the City - Bridging the Urban Divide”.

The main topics of WUF5 included how to tackle rapid urbanisation and its impact on the poor. More than 20,000 participants from non-governmental organisations, community-based groups, urban professionals, academics, government, local authorities, and national and international associations attended at the forum. Through a series of round-table discussions, dialogues, and networking events participants discussed formal and informal ways of action-oriented proposals on how to bridge the urban divide. “Today´s urban divide is largely an outcome of the biases and inadequacies of the three main tiers of government – central local and municipal” said Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT in her opening speech.

WUF is a biennial gathering established by the United Nations in 2002 to address the issue of rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, and policies. Its previous four sessions were held in Nairobi, Barcelona, Vancouver, and Nanjing. The next forum is likely to be held in Brunei in 2012.

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The Forum was hosted in newly  city
renovated harbour warehouses.

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The beautiful Rio environment

FIG was represented at the Forum by President Stig Enemark who attended and gave presentations in a number of sessions out of the overwhelming program:

  • The World Urban Campaign: “the 100 Cities Initiative – towards bridging the urban divide”. The campaign is designed as an experimental phase lasting 12 to 18 months to test how best to appeal to and mobilize people, communities, municipal officials, service providers, and the political leadership of any city. It does so by encouraging these actors to tell their story on how they are contributing to a better and more sustainable city. After this initial test phase to culminate in a 100 Cities Summit, the initiative would be opened to broader participation by all cities committed to open learning and sharing.

  • Habitats Professionals Roundtable: “What Role for the Urban Professionals in the World Urban Campaign”. The objective was to discuss what professionals can do to help UN-HABITAT in its sustainable urbanization mission. The more specific mission was to present the HPF´s Charter and to discuss how this can be effectively applied in practice.

  • GLTN Roundtable: “Piloting of a GLTN Land Tool: A Practical Way to Ensure Gender Equity”. The objective was to share experiences, challenges, and lessons learnt in the piloting of the Gender Evaluation Criteria tool; and to discuss further opportunities and the next steps and ways forwards. After the presentation of the pilot experiences from Brazil, Ghana, and Nepal, a panel of experts and practitioners from academia, professionals, civil society, grassroots, government sector and development partners provided their views and comments which contribute to the critical next steps and way forward. FIG, by Dr. Diane Dumashie, Chair of FIG Com. 8 has played a key role in developing and assessing the evaluation criteria and the pilot processes.

  • Networking Event: “Count me in, for planning my city”. The event provided a networking opportunity for professionals from academia, government, community-based organizations, civil society and private sector, for sharing experiences about participatory enumeration, a community-led surveying technique. The event provided a networking opportunity for professionals from academia, government, community-based organizations, civil society and private sector, for sharing experiences about participatory enumeration, a community-led surveying technique. The participants were given two sheets of policy brief and a CD with the new book published by UN-Habitat: ‘Count me in: Surveying for Tenure Security and Urban Land Management

  • Networking event: “Access to Security of tenure and Housing Finance”. Focus was on discussing the impact of a well functioning market for housing finance in developing countries; and to highlight that proper land governance is a prerequisite for sustainable land use, social stability, and inclusive land markets. The event was organized by Sweden, the Ministry of Finance, The Swedish Housing and Credit Guarantee Board, and Lantmäteriet, the Swedish Mapping, Cadastral, and Land Registration Authority.

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Representatives of the UN-Habitat Professional Forum.
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Round Table meeting on Gender Equity.

Following the WUF5 President Enemark also attended the meeting of the GLTN International Advisory Board (IAB). The GLTN profile including the objectives and themes is available at http://www.gltn.net. The IAB is established to provide objective advice on issues related to the GLTN policies, operational strategies and projects. The full advisory board is available at:
www.gltn.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=63

The key issues of the IAB meeting included a comprehensive review of the GLTN 2009 Annual Progress and Financial report. The overall assessment reveals that GLTN has been very successful in achieving their goals and the GLTN partners are very committed in their support. Next IAB meeting is likely to be held in conjunction with the FIG presidential handover meeting in Copenhagen by the end of November 2010.

Finally, President Enemark also visited the Brazilian Society of Cartography, Geodesy, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (SBC) to discuss with the Council and President Paulo Cesar Trino, about the future involvement of SBC in FIG and the possibility of hosting a future FIG event and thereby strengthening the surveying profession in the Latin American region. A following lunch meeting further confirmed the good relations between SBC and FIG.

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Paulo Cesar Trino, SBC President and Stig Enemark,
FIG President.
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Lunch meeting with members of SBC

Read more:

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Example of the “Favelas” (slum settlements) in Rio. About 20 per cent of Brazil´s population live in poor urban human settlements. Government is working closely with UN-HABITAT to improve this situation.

 

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