Ramallah 14 November 14, 2016-- UN-Habitat in partnership with the State of Palestine Ministry of Local Government, and with technical support from the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem launched a new publication that documents the spatial plans prepared with Palestinian communities in the Israeli controlled Area C of the West Bank.

The publication documents a significant amount of the spatial planning efforts started in 2008 by the State of Palestine Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) with support from international community. More specifically, the publication documents the planning processes and major accomplishments achieved so far to enable stakeholders to engage in a more comprehensive discussion of the complexities facing the Palestinian communities in Area C. As of today, there are 300,000 Palestinians living in Area C (which covers more than 60 percent of the West Bank territory). The Palestinian communities in Area C are facing a demolition crisis; the total number of structures demolished in the first eight months in 2016 was up 50 percent compared with all of 2015 (548 demolitions). In response, MoLG and in partnership with UN-Habitat continued their efforts to engage in plan-making processes with local communities to defend their planning rights.

The publication is a result of collaborative work between governmental and non-governmental organizations, where profiling of the planning conditions, and plan-making processes is captured. This is helpful to support the MoLG and others with their efforts to “cover the Palestinian communities in Area C with spatial plans to enable spatial development and functionally link the rural communities in Area C with the Palestinian urban centers” said the Minister of Local Government, Dr. Hussein Al-A’raj. “The publication provides an excellent documentation of the plans prepared and this is helpful for policy-makers to revisit policy interventions in Area C, and to inform the work of advocates, academia, and the other interested parties” he added.

“We launch this publication, mere weeks after the adoption by Member States of the New Urban Agenda in Habitat III” said Head of Office, UN-Habitat, Joe Hooper. “The spatial plans introduced across Palestine represent a critical component in the realization of an overall spatial framework for the State of Palestine that facilitates the localization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 11. This is an endeavour that UN-Habitat is committed to support in the future”, he added.

This publication has been prepared with technical support from the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), and with financial support from the European Union through the Spatial Planning Support Programme for Palestinian Communities in Area C.

To access the publication online, click on geo.molg.pna.ps/areac.html