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     Query: Guatemala / Comparative experiences / Urban
                     environmental planning & projects

25 November 2004, prepared by Henrike Peichert & with support from Nanette Svenson




Original Query: Melissa Edwards, UNDP Guatemala:


UNDP Guatemala CO is supporting Guatemala City's Municipality in the development of
several large "mega" projects to address, among others, a number of growing
environmental problems including air pollution and surface/underground water
contamination.

Since I am new to the organization, I would like to ask if any of you are working
specifically on environmental issues in urban areas and whether you could direct me to
relevant web sites or send me information pertaining to this topic. Essentially we are
talking about promoting basic urban environmental planning and improving the quality of
life particularly of shanty down dwellers.



Responses were received, with many thanks, from:


    1.   Karin Svadlenak-Gomez, UN Volunteers, Bonn
    2.   Abdul Qadir, UNDP Pakistan
    3.   Nanette Svenson, UNDP SURF LAC, Panama
    4.   Manju Rai, UNDP Nepal
    5.   Olga Corrales, UNDP Costa Rica




Summary of Responses:

Within the United Nations system, a number of UN agencies are dealing comprehensively with
the issue of urban environmental planning, projects and environmental protection. A broad range
of issues is hereby covered, ranging from the (a) development of strategic planning instruments
(UN Habitat/UNEP) to (b) specific technical project support, small grants programmes (UNDP-
LIFE) and/or (c) a special emphasis on certain aspects on urban environments, such as initiatives
on public-private partnerships for the urban environment (PPPUE - UNDP). Of particular interest
for UNDP Guatemala might be a new inter-agency joint strategy for Latin America & the
Caribbean, developed by UN Habitat/UNEP, as a response to the increasing demand of local and
national authorities to reduce urban environment degradation in the very urbanized Latin America
and the Caribbean Region (LAC). The strategy is supporting municipalities/cities in preparing
urban-environmental assessments. The „resources section‟ provides details on existing
programmes & policies & toolkits developed by UN organizations and other entities.

Today, most discussions on urban environmental planning & projects take place within the
context/framework of Local Agenda 21 processes. As Olga Corrales (UNDP Costa Rica) points
out, urban environmental issues are local governance/decentralization issues, though
often dealt with without the necessary corresponding institutional strengthening. Local Agenda
21 programmes are explicitly designed to address these issues in an integrated manner.

Within the context of the Latin American Region, UNDP LAC-SURF as well as UNDP Costa
Rica have tackled knowledge-sharing on these complex issues recently through the creation of
various websites featuring best practices on governance, urban environment and local
environmental governance for further knowledge sharing: (a) The website of the Knowledge
Fair on Local Governance in Latin America houses a database of local governance best
practice documentation (English /Spanish) in a wide variety of areas (responsible: Juan Manuel
Salazar); (b) The Environmental Solutions Fair (Soluciones Ambientales), a fair held in Costa
Rica, December 2003, (responsible, inter alia, Leida Mercado) showcased much of Costa Rica's
successful environmental experiences and aimed to organize opportunities for transferring some
of this knowledge to other interested practitioners. Best practice documentation came out of this
fair as well (available in Spanish only). Within UNDP BDP, the governance sub-practice on
decentralization, local governance and urban development is also working on identifying „best
cross-practices‟ and exploring interlinkages.

Dwindling financial resources for local authorities and municipalities are a crucial problem -
creative solutions and initiatives in this context are often vital to keep the most essential basic
services alive, such as garbage collection/municipal waste management or the supply of water
services. Two replies comment on this: Karin Svadlenak-Gomez (UN Volunteers) introduces
a new innovative approach developed by the UN Volunteers programme, which aims at
organizing existing social capital in form of volunteers and volunteer organization to enhance
urban policy planning and generate additional resources. The Caring Cities Initiative is a pilot
project with currently three demonstration projects, one in Latin America (Ecuador). UNDP’s
PPPUE (Public-Private Partnerships for the Urban Environment, as well as an „older‟ programme,
LIFE (Local Environment Facility for Urban Development Programme), are specialized initiatives
aimed at generating additional resources, local governance alliances and strengthening general
service provision through partnerships between local authorities, civil society and the private
sector. Manju Rai (UNDP Nepal) shares experiences of UNDP Nepal with poverty reduction
and empowerment strategies based on PPPUE‟s approach, which led, inter alia, to a set-up of 39
public-private partnerships so far in five municipalities. These new alliances concentrate on
providing increased and better access to basic services (water supply, sanitation, electricity,
waste disposal) through the involvement of civil society (in particular women) in planning and
implementation processes. Abdul Qadir (UNDP Pakistan) is referring to project experiences
under the LIFE and Sustainable Livelihood programmes (i.e. on Solid Waste Management), which
all included explicit local governance empowerment components. He recommends to check the
project outlines on their CO website.

For a quick overview on the most relevant UN programmes:

The UN Programme for Human Settlements (UN Habitat) is the United Nations principal
body for urban-environmental issues. Habitat provides all of the mentioned services (mostly in
cooperation with UNEP) and is running a broad number of specific programmes, inter alia:

   Sustainable Cities Programme (broad capacity-building for urban environmental planning
    & projects)

   Cities Alliance (Coalition for upgrading of City Slums)

   Urban Environment Forum (Global Coalition of Cities and Support Programmes)

   The Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme (BLP) (knowledge-sharing;
    dissemination of best practices, case studies)

   Localizing Agenda 21 (capacity-building for environmental planning processes based on
    participatory approaches)

UNDP handles two programmes specifically focusing on the situation of the urban environment:

   Public-Private Partnerships for the Urban Environment (PPPUE) (coalition-building
    among various stakeholders)

   Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (LIFE) (Small grants programme)

Related UNDP programmes

   UNDP-UN Volunteers: Caring Cities Initiative (Volunteerism as tool for urban planning)

   Capacity 21/ 2015 (mainstreaming environmental planning processes; local capacity-
    building)
UNEP concentrates on assessing and providing comprehensive information sources on the urban
environment situation:

    Cities Environment Reports on the Internet (CEROI) (Access to environmental
     information within Local Agenda 21 processes)

    Global Environment Outlook reports - GEO Cities




Recommended Resources:

 (with special thanks to Nanette Svenson, UNDP/SURF-LAC for her contributions!)




1. UN resources

 UN Human Settlement Programme (Habitat)

      The Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP)

SCP is a joint UN-HABITAT/UNEP facility for building capacities in urban environmental planning
and management. The programme is founded on broad-based cross-sectoral and stakeholder
participatory approaches. It contributes to promoting urban environmental governance
processes, as a basis for achieving sustainable urban growth and development. Currently the SCP
operates in 20 main „demonstration cities‟ and 25 replicating cities around the world, cities in
Latin America include municipalities in Chile and Ecuador.

 SCP Tools:

- Urban Air Quality Management - Handbook (The SCP Source Book Series, Vol. 6, 2001)

http://www.unhabitat.org/programmes/agenda21/documents/aqbook.pdf

- Las Actividades Principales del Proceso Agenda 21 Local: Una visión rápida de qué son y
cómo se llevan a cabo

http://www.unhabitat.org/programmes/agenda21/documents/sanpshotspanish.pdf


      Urban Environmental Forum
The Urban Environment Forum (UEF) is a global coalition of cities and international support
programmes working in the urban environment that exists to facilitate the ability of the members,
individually and collectively, to achieve their goals in Environmental Planning and Management:
http://www.unchs.org/programmes/uef/


The UEF City Practices page addresses most of the fundamentals related to the subject,
drawing from the Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) Source Book, a
reference published in three volumes by UN-HABITAT and UNEP (1997) that provides the
theoretical basis for much of the work of UN HABITAT‟s UEF. It deals with such issues as how
cities identify, assess, clarify, and prioritize environmental issues and then mobilize the active
participation of stakeholders for the different activities relevant to environmental planning and
management. It also deals with the specifics of implementation such as laws and regulations,
fiscal and economic incentives, strategic capital investments and public information and
education campaigns: http://www.unchs.org/programmes/uef/citypractices.asp


    Localizing Agenda 21
This UN Habitat capacity-building programme started in 1995 as a response to Chapter 28 of
Agenda 21 whereby local authorities are called upon to undertake participatory processes to
develop and implement "Local Agendas 21" for and with their communities. The LA21
programme offers multi-year support to local authorities and their partners to undertake such
Local Agenda 21 processes in order to locally contribute to the implementation of the Agenda 21
and the Habitat Agenda. The programme aims to promote good urban governance by supporting
the development and implementation of broad-based environmental action plans, focusing on
context-specific aspects of municipal planning and management.


Tools:
The Localising Agenda 21 Programme uses tools prepared by the Sustainable Cities Programme:
http://www.unhabitat.org/programmes/agenda21/tools.asp


    Joint UN-HABITAT – UNEP Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean
This joint strategy is a response to the increasing demand of local and national authorities to
reduce urban environment degradation in the very urbanized Latin America and the Caribbean
Region (LAC). The strategy is supporting municipalities/cities in preparing urban-environmental
assessments, based on the UNEP GEO Cities Programme. This strategy enhances cooperation
between national and municipal governments.
The strategy, which was agreed upon at the beginning of 2004, is currently implemented in 3
countries (Brazil , Peru and Cuba). In each country 3 to 4 cities are supported and will serve as a
basis for further replications: Read more about Brazil activities        Read more about Peru
activities      Read more about Cuba activities

      The Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme (BLP)
BLP is a global network of institutions dedicated to the identification and exchange of successful
solutions for sustainable development. The BLP partners' network identifies initiatives in such
areas as housing, urban development and governance, the environment, economic development,
social inclusion, crime prevention, poverty reduction, women, youth, infrastructure and social
service: http://www.blpnet.org/

Tools:

- Best Practices Briefs (case studies & best practices from cities around the globe):
http://bestpractices.org/bpbriefs/

     Managing Water in African Cities

This Programme works with city and local authorities, national governments, the private sector,
civil society, resource centres and the media. The objective of the Programme is to tackle the
urban water crisis in African cities through efficient and effective water demand management,
build capacity to mitigate the environmental impact of urbanisation on freshwater resources and
boost awareness and information exchange on water management and conservation. It also
promotes the exchange of best practices in urban water management in support of the
implementation of the Habitat Agenda: http://www.un-urbanwater.net/

     UN Habitat Information press kits:

These kits are a comprehensive collection of short and precise information on water & sanitation
problems and slum issues and its potential solutions in cities (available on-line):

- Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities:
http://www.unhabitat.org/mediacentre/wswc.asp

- The Slum Challenge: http://www.unhabitat.org/mediacentre/presskits.asp


      World Urban Forum, Barcelona: 13-17 September 2004

World‟s principal meeting of local authorities, cities, and mayors, organized by UN Habitat:
http://www.unchs.org/wuf/2004/default.asp

The webpage contains numerous background reports and policy statements on urban policies
and sustainable development.

Background report: Dialogue on urban sustainability: Environment, economy, society:
commitment to a culture of partnerships for sustainable urbanization:
http://www.unchs.org/wuf/2004/documents/K0471804WUF2-8.doc
United Nations Development Programme

     Public-Private Partnerships for the Urban Environment (PPPUE)

Within UNDP, the Public-Private Partnerships for the Urban Environment (PPPUE) is the
programme that deals specifically with urban environment projects from a partnership
perspective: http://www.undp.org/ppp/about/index.htm

Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) are an effective means of establishing cooperation between
public and private actors and to bundle financial resources, know-how and expertise to address
urban environmental needs. PPPs offer alternatives to full privatization, combining the
advantages of both the public and the private sector.
UNDPs Public-Private Partnerships for the Urban Environment (PPPUE) facility supports the
development of such innovative partnerships at the local level. Focusing on assisting small and
medium-sized cities, PPPUE works with all potential stakeholders, including investors, providers,
regulators, users, and experts to meet the challenge of providing basic urban environmental
services.

Toolkit:

PPPUE has also recently released a toolkit, aimed at members of local government, business and
community organizations interested in an innovative approach to the problems of service
delivery, especially to the poor:

Toolkit for Pro Poor Public Private Partnerships: http://pppue.undp.org/toolkit/

     UNDP Starters’ Toolkit for Collaboration with the Business Sector:

http://intra.undp.org/brsp/business/docs/starterstoolkit_final0502.doc



    Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (LIFE)
The LIFE – Small Grants Programme provides support for small-scale activities that address local
urban environmental problems. The LIFE Programme started off as a two-year experiment in
approximately 24 developing countries (including Colombia) in 1992, to help developing countries
improve their urban development. The principal objective of the LIFE Programme is to promote
"local-local" dialogue and collaborative action amongst municipal authorities, NGOs and CBOs to
improve the quality of the urban environment leading to sustainable human development. Under
this programme, grants are provided directly to Local Government Authorities (LGAs), non-
governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) for activities in
the LIFE problem-areas. Awards may be as much as US$50,000 (in local currency). The LIFE
programme is currently managed by the Governance sub-practice on decentralization, local
governance, urban development.


Areas of support:
LIFE supports projects that aim to reduce urban poverty, increase the capacities of NGOs and
CBOs, foster dialogue and collaboration amongst Local Government Authorities, NGOs and CBOs,
and increase the exchange of information concerning successful approaches to urban
environmental improvement. To receive support under this programme the proposed project
activity must be directed toward a particular urban environmental problem or combination of
problems including the following:

        Increase the provision of water supply and sanitation.
        Improve solid and liquid waste management.
        Decrease air and water pollution.
        Eliminate occupation of hazard-prone areas.
        Improve environmental health.
        Provide environmental education.
        Eliminate use of environmentally un-friendly technologies.
        Utilize environmental considerations in urban planning.

Experiences with LIFE: http://magnet.undp.org/Docs/dec/LIFE.pdf

     UNDP - UN Volunteers


Caring Cities - Support to Intra–City Volunteerism project

An interesting new UNV initiative is the Caring Cities: Support to Intra–City Volunteerism project.
The overall objective of this project is to increase the contribution of volunteerism to urban
development. Launched in 2002, the project has been active in three pilot cities in the ARLAC
region: Amran – Yemen, Falmouth - Jamaica and Esmeraldas – Ecuador, with an international
coordinating “hub” in Quito, Ecuador. Teams in these cities have developed a process of linking
volunteers, voluntary groups and organizations, the local government and the private sector to
stimulate the use of volunteerism as a tool for urban development, maximizing the impact of
municipal investments, creating social capital and forging new ways of involving citizen
participation in local management:www.caringcities.org

Toolkits:

Training guide and methodology: please contact the coordinator, Mr. Richard Huber: email:
richard.huber@unvolunteers.org

     Capacity 21 / 2015
Capacity 2015 in Latin America & Caribbean: http://www.ictwhoiswho.net/rblac/

On-going project in Guatemala (since March 2004):
http://www.capacity.undp.org/index.cfm?module=Projects&page=Project&ProjID=680

El Proyecto “Fortalecimiento de capacidades locales para la participación social y el desarrollo
sostenible” inició actividades en marzo de 2004. Su objetivo es fortalecer el desarrollo de
capacidades para la gobernabilidad local, impulsando procesos de participación ciudadana en el
marco del sistema de consejos de desarrollo, con énfasis en la articulación entre los niveles
municipal y departamental. Asimismo, se pretende poner en operación mecanismos de
planificación participativa para vincular a los consejos departamentales de desarrollo con los
municipales.




     UNDP SURF-LAC / UNDP Costa Rica:

Regional and sub-regional environment ‘Best practice’ networks for Latin and Central
America

The website of the Knowledge Fair on Local Governance in Latin America houses a
database of local governance best practice documentation (English /Spanish) in a wide
variety areas: http://www.logos.undp.org (responsible: Juan Manuel Salazar/SURF LAC). The site
also provides various other related information, among which are links to similar UNDP Knowledge
Fairs in other cities. (registration needed)

The Environmental Solutions Fair (Soluciones Ambientales), a fair held in Costa Rica,
December 2003, showcased much of Costa Rica's successful environmental experiences and
aimed to organize opportunities for transferring some of this knowledge to other interested
practitioners: http://solucionesambientales.org

Best practice documentation came out of this fair as well and is available in Spanish on:
http://solucionesambientales.org/doctodo.htm

      UNDP Country experiences:

 UNDP Pakistan (Abdul Qadir) kindly referred to some past project experiences under
different UNDP umbrella programmes with several larger urban environmental projects. All
projects included explicit local governance empowerment components. UNDP Pakistan‟s website
provides a comprehensive overview on project design, objectives and achievements and can be
assessed at: http://www.un.org.pk/undp/sl/projects.html - 97_005
(1) Solid Waste Management and Environment Enhancement (SWEEP) project (1997-
2001)

Principal objectives included: Developing a sustainable, participatory solid waste
management system in the city by involving the communities in planning and implementation;
mitigating the gap between the communities and government institutions; developing a long-
term plan for sustainable solid waste management

(2) Program for Improving Livelihoods in Urban Settlements (PLUS) (1997 –2001,
pilot phase)

Principal objectives included: Establishment of linkages between communities and the urban
development activities undertaken by the local government;

Stimulating local-local dialog through linkages between communities, civil society groups and
local government; improved living conditions for urban poor by introducing alternative low-cost,
self-help approaches to water and sanitation affordable for low-income groups; increased
income-generating opportunities for low-income groups by provision of micro-credit and
improved living standard by access to health, education and housing
(3) Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (Small Grants) Programme (LIFE)
– Pakistan projects

UNDP Nepal (Manju Rai) has currently two projects under the Governance Unit of
UNDP/Nepal – Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment (PPPUE) (NEP/04/001) and Rural
Urban Partnership Programme (NEP/03/003), which are focusing on environmental issues in
urban areas.

(1) The Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment (PPPUE) is being implemented
in five selected municipalities (Biratnagar, Bharatpur , Hetauda Pokhara and Butwal). The
objective of this project is to increase the access of urban citizens to basic services and to
contribute to the creation of a healthy environment and improving the living conditions in the
urban and peri-urban areas, through the promotion of partnerships between public and private
sectors for the sustainable provision of urban services. This project has a particular focus on
poverty reduction through active involvement of civil society, especially the poor and women, in
the planning and implementation process. This is being institutionalized by ensuring job creation,
access to services and favourable pricing, and improving the environment through better and
increased delivery of urban services such as solid waste management, electricity and water and
sanitation. There are 39 public private partnership projects so far identified in the partner
municipalities of PPPUE in which PPPUE has provided various types of support, facilitation and
technical backstopping. Solid Waste Management, Drinking Water, Public Toilets, Municipal
Market, City Halls and Exhibition canters, Bus Terminals and Parks are some of the service areas
covered by the PPP projects.

				
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