Auckland – Top New Zealand experts will play key roles in a major international sustainable development planning conference in Fiji later this year with the aims of ending poverty, protecting the environment and ensuring prosperity.
Commonwealth countries last year signed up to a set of goals as part of a new sustainable development agenda. New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) chief executive Susan Houston says environmental sustainability and economic development have become central issues for planners and local government practitioners facing the impacts of climate change; natural hazards, housing shortages and declining infrastructure.
The NZPI, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Association of Planners and the Planning Institute of Australia, is organising the Planning for Sustainable Development conference in Fiji from November 7 to 10.
“The links between environmental sustainability and economic development are now better understood, indicating that a good planning system is critical to effect positive change,” Houston says.
“A transformational shift to planning for sustainable development is required, it will include strengthening planning capability, enhancing government frameworks and building capacity at a national, regional and local level.
“The conference will raise and address a number of key challenges facing planners and local government practitioners around the world in achieving this transformation and shift to achieve the sustainable development goals.
“The meeting will be relevant to developed and developing nations, including small island nations, nations with coastal settlements and those experiencing growing urban pressures.
“It will be of interest to planners and policy makers but also others involved in national and local government, environmental and social development. Using the context of the Pacific, the conference will be workshop based and the output of the conference will be a structure and tool box for developing a programme of action to address the sustainable development goals, which may reflect the issues of the Pacific region but can be adapted for others.
“We will be looking at achieving sustainable development goals, planning and funding sustainable infrastructure, planning for economic development, climate change adaptation, resilience to natural hazards and capacity building for planning in small island nations.”
The Commonwealth Association of Planners is a major global institution in planning and is playing an increasingly significant role in the worldwide promotion of planning as a fundamental part of governance for sustainable human settlement.
For further information contact Susan Houston, NZPI chief executive, on 021 555754 or Make Lemonade media specialist Kip Brook on 0275 030188
Photo: NZPI chief executive Susan Houston