La Paz, 28 June 2018 - Over 50 Bolivian and international urban and rural experts recently met in La Paz, Bolivia, drafting recommendations on how to include considerations on integrated territorial development and urban-rural linkages into National Urban Policies.
The experts also reviewed the currently developed “Guiding Principles for Urban-Rural Linkages” by piloting them in the Bolivian context. The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) was hosted by the Bolivian Government, while UN-Habitat, in collaboration with other United Nations agencies in Bolivia, providing technical assistance to the development of the Bolivia’s National Urban Policy with support from the Government of Sweden.
In his opening words, Mr. Javier Delgadillo, Bolivia’s Vice Minister for Housing and Urbanism, underscored that “the different government levels, including national, regional and local government authorities need to be included in the National Urban Policy development process for Bolivia”. He further noted that this “… EGM will give Bolivian experts the opportunity to learn from other countries’ experiences, while also sharing information on Bolivia’s heritage, multicultural environment and upcoming large-scale projects, which impact policy development in our country.”
For two days, experts discussed the current draft of the Guiding Principles, shared experiences on integrated territorial development strategies and projects and worked in groups on different topics related to the Guiding Principles and policy development in Bolivia. At the end of the two days workshops, experts proposed three outcome documents:
- Key messages on strengthening urban-rural linkages for policymakers
- The “La Paz Communique” on “Developing the Guiding Principles and Framework for Action: Urban-Rural Linkages to Advance Integrated Territorial Development”
- A set of Expert Recommendations to the Bolivian Government and stakeholders for the development of the Bolivian National Urban Policy
Since beginning of 2018, UN-Habitat has partnered with many organizations in participatory process to develop the Guiding Principles for Urban-Rural Linkages. These organizations include Cities Alliance, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Centre for Regional Developmet (UNCRD), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO). The Guiding Principles will contribute to advance integrated urban and territorial development. They will also serve as guidance for governments at all levels and to other urban and rural stakeholders to collaborate towards a more integrated territorial development while reducing inequalities across the urban-rural continuum. (Additional information on the participatory and interagency collaboration on the Guiding Principles can be found at www.urbanrurallinkages.wordpress.com.)
The Expert Group Meeting in La Paz, Bolivia, was a milestone in the drafting process of the Guiding Principles: while is provided the opportunity to review the structure and content and discuss responsibilities of different actors for each provision based on the discussions and case studies presented, the experts also drafted concrete recommendations for development of the National Urban Policy in Bolivia and discussed priorities that need to be considered in the further process within Bolivia’s specific country context.