Resolution on Measures for Managing Challenges posed by Urbanization and Mitigating its Negative Effects

APPF14 RES 15

14th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum
15-20 January 2006

Resolution on Measures for Managing Challenges posed by Urbanization and Mitigating its Negative Effects

APPF14/RES/15

(Sponsored by the Philippines)

The 14th Annual Meeting of the Asia – Pacific Parliamentary Forum,

Recalling the Treaty on Urbanization signed during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992;

Observing that a consequence of economic growth in countries, in particular developing countries, is “urbanization” or the rapid growth of urban areas;

Recognizing that urbanization may result in both positive and negative effects;

Distressed that the key negative effects of urbanization affect population growth and the environment;

POPULATION

Observing that economic growth in cities gives rise to a greater demand for various services, which leads to the perceived wage gaps with neighboring areas and disparities in work opportunities, which in turn causes a migrant influx to the city;

Concerned that urbanization may lead to an abnormal growth of urban population greater than the level which economic development can support, consequently leading to an increase in poverty;

Recognizing also the importance of formulating sound institutional policies and relevant financial mechanisms in order to most adequately, appropriately, efficiently and effectively address the issues and challenges of urbanization;

Alarmed at the large percentage of irregular housing – in the form of squatter housing, slum settlements and illegal housing – in some major Asian cities; and even more alarmed that in recent years, in some Asian countries, this number has only seen a steady increase;

Taking note of the study done by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN HABITAT), “The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2003”,

Recognizing the importance of adequate infrastructure, such as mass transportation systems, water supply and sewerage systems, and waste treatment facilities, in balancing the effects of urbanization;

Recalling the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to “halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation” and to “achieve significant improvement in the lives of 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020”;

Stressing the need for proper urban planning and development in order to prevent the exacerbation of problems related to urbanization;

Aware that globalization, by providing more opportunities to boost and facilitate the mobility of labor and capital, may also serve to augment the effects of urbanization, both positive and negative;

Acknowledging that interaction with the private sector and civil society, in particular non-governmental organizations, is key to addressing the hindrance to development brought about by unchecked population growth and urbanization;

ENVIRONMENT

Cognizant of the fact that improvement in transport system promotes economic growth by increasing mobility of capital and labor and improving physical access to resources, but concerned about the devastating effects on the environment of increased motorization and traffic congestion in some Asian countries;

Alarmed at the large amount of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, emitted by motorized vehicles in major Asian cities;

Worried at the accompanying health concerns related to air pollution caused by an increase in transportation and congestion as a result of urbanization;

Aware that the urban transport sector in Asia may be contributing substantially to greenhouse gas emissions;

Recognizing that increased population growth, accompanied by economic growth, greatly accelerates consumption rates in Asian developing cities, which in turn gives rise to an increase in waste generation;

Aware that higher environmental awareness alone will not lead to a better environment unless the interests of all stakeholders can be reconciled;

RESOLVES TO:

1. Encourage parliaments of member countries to create a congressional committee which role will be to examine the issues directly related to urbanization, and the consequences of this phenomenon, particularly population growth and pollution, with the aim of balancing out its negative effects by proposing legislative measures to manage, and hopefully hinder, their debilitating effects on the economy, society and the environment,

2. Urge parliaments of member countries to enact legislation to promote cleaner air and to control the mitigating effects of greenhouse gas emission, specifically in relation to the urban transport sector, and to ensure that any policies adopted are properly monitored, executed and adhered to by concerned parties,

3. Reaffirm the need for member countries to promote environmental awareness and to reconcile the interests of all stakeholders, in order to halt the devastating effects of air pollution, improper waste disposal, and other environmental problems caused by urbanization,

4. Urge member states to ensure that sufficient funding is allocated for the construction and development of infrastructure to support the growing need of rapidly expanding urban areas, and to strongly urge member countries to promote proper town or city planning and development in urban areas in order to prevent the exacerbation of problems related to urbanization,

5. Stress the need for member countries to continue working diligently towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular, those concerning slum settlements and provision of safe drinking water and basic sanitation,

6. Call upon governments of member countries to acknowledge the importance of cooperating with civil society, in particular non-governmental organizations, and the private sector in providing basic public goods increasingly needed by rapidly expanding urban areas,

7. Strongly urge member countries to encourage the development of regional urban centers, but without reversing economic growth in major urban regions,

8. Affirm the need for member countries to work closely with their local governments to assist them in providing citizens, particularly in rural areas with basic infrastructure and services necessary for them to live without fear of poverty, illness or freedom, which will also mitigate migration to urbanized areas,

9. Recommend that member countries strengthen the economic base not only in urban but also in rural regions to encourage the manufacture of goods and provision of services that will benefit the entire national economy, and not merely that of highly urbanized regions,

10. Promote local, national, regional and international exchanges of best practices comprising of experiences, expertise and information among and within member countries.

 



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Resolution on Measures for Managing Challenges posed by Urbanization and Mitigating its Negative Effects

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