WWF Statement for the Habitat III Plenary Session

Posted on 21 October 2016

WWF acknowledges the hard work of Member States and the Habitat III Secretariat to have reach consensus on the New Urban Agenda.
WWF acknowledges the hard work of Member States and the Habitat III Secretariat to have reach consensus on the New Urban Agenda, aimed at addressing the existing and emerging challenges in urban development. WWF further welcomes the active contributions and participation of all stakeholders and civil society in the drafting process and in the diversity of activities, views and inspiration contributed to the conference over the last three days.
However, WWF has found that key sustainable development aspects are lacking across the New Urban Agenda document. In particular, the transformative commitments for sustainable urban development fail to integrate environmental sustainability across the social inclusion and ending poverty, and inclusive urban prosperity dimensions. For example, cities and human settlements are heavily reliant on ecosystems services for their livelihoods and prosperity, and the New Urban Agenda lacks adequate measures to protect our world’s biodiversity and natural resources.
In addition, there is a need to strengthen the relevance of the climate change challenge in the New Urban Agenda. Cities and human settlements stand on the front line to realize the urgent transition to a low carbon and renewable energy based world. The New Urban Agenda in particular must include the urgent need to support the development of reliable systems to monitor and report sustainability data, particularly on GHG emissions, at the city level, especially amongst second and third tier sized cities.
WWF urges member states, regional authorities and local governments, business and civil society to work together to harness the New Urban Agenda as the framework for delivering sustainable development in our cities and human settlements. Together with the Paris Agreement, with special reference to limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda must become the roadmap over the next twenty years for human settlements and cities to realize high quality of life for all of us, on our one planet. Together let’s make it possible.
Roberto Troya, Director, WWF-Latin America and the Caribbean
© Diego Añazco / WWF