A meeting of the United Nations Centre of Regional Development (UNCRD) experts was held to discuss integrated regional development planning, which provides an effective tool for sustainable development. The purpose of the meeting was to revisit the concept of regional development and raise international understanding around the tools it can provide to help developing countries address the new challenges of the 21st century.
H. E Mr Noriyo Mitsuya highlighted five key aspects of integrated regional development planning: (i) Transport and land use planning; (ii) Waste management; (iii) 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) and resource efficiency; (iv) Human security; and (v) Disaster risk management. He emphasised disaster risk management as a crucial aspect that should be prioritised in order to achieve sustainable development of the economy.In this light, the government of Japan strives to cooperate in the construction of better infrastructure and development of technology to facilitate disaster risk reduction.
Ms Ndey-Isatou Njie drew attention to theclarification of the approach taken in regional development. The regions are set according to issue-areas, which thereby integrate planning, vision making and policy-design. Sustainable cities are at the core of regional development as they provide a platform for job creation, health facilities, educational institutions and other forums for public participation. She referred to the Toyota smart city approach in Japan to illustrate the significance of sustainable cities.
Mr Hiroshi Imanaga delivered a presentation on the city of Kitakyusgu. Kitakyusgu has been described as one of the cities with the lowest rates of municipal waste production in OECD countries, as per the OECD report. He underscored that the first step towards this achievement was to initiate partnerships with local multi-stakeholders, including businesses and educational institutions.
H.E Mr Shinji Inoue emphasised the progress towards sound-material society, which focuses on the efficient use of natural resources with proper cyclical use of products. It is essential to set indicators and evaluate our progress towards a sound-material society. Cooperation on 3R and waste management policies will facilitate this process in line with the economic growth and population increase worldwide that has led to an increase in global waste generation. Establishing multi-layer partnerships in bilateral cooperation at the local, national and international levels will contributetoimproving this situation.
Meeting Title: Promoting resource efficiency for Sustainable Development
Speakers: H. E Mr. Noriyo Mitsuya, Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan; Ms. Ndey-Isatou Njie, Chief of Water, Energy and Strategies Branch, DSD/UNDESA;Dr. Elly Sinaga, Director General of Ministry of Transportation, Indonesia; Mr. Toshihko Ohta, Mayor of Toyota City; Mr. Hiroshi Imanaga, Deputy Mayor of Toyota City.
Date: July 7th, 2014.
Location: Conference Room C, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Nusrat Laskar
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan