Conclusions of the First Meeting of the Ibero-american and Caribbean Forum on Best Practices Human Settlements for a More Sustainable Future
Objetives and outreach
To contribute to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, this
Forum proposes to increase and broaden, throughout the region, the
participation of civil society in policy making for sustainable
human settlement development.
Specifically, the Forum will:
- Promote, from a social, economic and environmental perspective,
the deeper understanding and evaluation of Best Practices, the
improvement of dissemination and stimulate and increase transfers
throughout the region, employing the participation and use of all
actors and existing networks involved in sustainable development;
- Establish a framework for communication and co-ordination of
programmes and activities underway in the region which have similar
objectives as those of the Forum;
- Identify and support information, capacity-building and
transfer initiatives for practices which promote a more sustainable
future for human settlements;
- Identify and mobilise resources at the regional, national and
local levels for transfer initiatives and assist promoters of Best
Practices to mobilise and identify resources and procure funds;
- Collaborate in the development of the activities of the Best
Practices and Local Leadership Programme (BLP) through the
dissemination of its knowledge and through support of programmes
for the collection and evaluation of Best Practices.
In order to co-ordinate the administration of funds and programme
activities of this Forum, an Interim Secretariat shall be
established to operate through the end of 1998, to be comprised of:
- UNCHS-Habitat, Regional Office for LAC
- AECI-Ministry of Development of Spain
To enable the work of this Forum, sub-regional nodes will be
established whose representatives will assist the Interim
Secretariat in decision making. These nodes shall be focused on
promoting concrete activities on specific themes, monitoring
experiences and holding seminars and workshops concerning the
communication, dissemination and analysis of experiences and
For planning purposes it is proposed that the Forum use the
following definition of sub-regions:
(The situations of Puerto Rico, Guayana and Surinam must be
discussed and resolved)
- Central America and Spanish speaking Caribbean countries
- Non-Spanish speaking Caribbean countries
- The Andino Group
- Cono Sur
For the identification of institutions and needs related to the
utilisation and transfer of Best Practices, Focal Points shall be
established in each country on a flexible basis through proposals
of interested institutions in accordance with criteria collectively
determined. The Interim Secretariat will have the ultimate
authority (or Competency) regarding the acceptance of identified
These Focal points should, to the extent possible:
The Forum can also seek the support of collaborating institutions
capable of offering means, experience and expertise.
- have already been participating in Best Practices and/or in the
Habitat II process;
- have experience and expertise in the thematic areas covered by
- have administrative and managerial capacity
be actively networking in the region or sub-region.
- Workshops and seminars shall focus on specific themes
reflecting the circumstances in the region and generate outputs
capable of influencing sustainable development policies.
Workshops are expected to undertake in-depth analysis of ongoing
experiences and to promote the transfer of lessons learned and
methods extracted from documented experiences.
The workshops will also serve to sensitise the participants,
including decision-makers at all levels, to the program and
procedures of the BLP and to stimulate the mobilisation of
resources in support of new initiatives which address critical
needs in specific areas.
- Forum participants are expected to identify scheduled events
during 1997 - 1998 which have the potential to forge links with the
activities of the Forum and those of the BLP Programme.
- To publicise its activities, the Forum shall support the use of
mass media in accordance with strategies determined by the sub-regional nodes and the Interim Secretariat.
Given the resources provided for the establishment of this Forum,
it will finance the following activities:
The activities promoted by the Forum will be guided by the
principal of cost sharing and collaboration with institutions which
have established programmes that coincide or complement the Forums
- Organise the Forums initial Seminars and Workshops during
1997-1998 in association with the calendar of events of the BLP.
- Support existing networks with outreach capacity in the
identification and evaluation of new experiences.
- Cover the operational costs of the Interim Secretariat.
- Establish a calendar of events in accordance with the second
round of Best Practices Awards.
- Promote a seminar or workshop for each sub-region.
- Identify networks, programmes and organisations involved the
elaboration of Best Practices, with the aim of establishing a
directory of organisations involved in Best Practices.
Proposed schedule of events
Convene a workshops/seminar in each sub-region:
The Andino Group
America and Spanish
In order to evaluate the procedures, events and results of the sub-regional workshops and seminars, as well as, the directives and
operational issues of the Forum, an Evaluation Meeting of the
Interim Secretariat and sub-regional representatives could be
scheduled to take place in conjunction with the "Encuentro
Habitat", to be held in Cali, Colombia 24-28, November, 1997. The
Evaluation meeting will take advantage of the Encuentro Habitat to
publicise the Forum and its activities.