International Forum and Regional Panels on Integrated Regional Development Management and Territorial Planning in Latin America
1 Jun 2010 - 11 Jun 2010
Bogota, Colombia / Barranquilla, Colombia

In 2004 UNCRD-LAC initiated a South-South Cooperation Programme for Latin American countries on Capacity Building for Integrated Regional Development Management, focusing on human security to respond to the increasing demand from governments and regional development institutions in Latin America on the theme. The programme aims at strengthening institutional capacity and enabling a cooperation environment to facilitate work among the wide variety of regional stakeholders, discussion and identification of common issues, problems, and priorities of action; building a shared vision for the future of their region and identification of a common action agenda, to achieve global goals of security, peace, development.

A series of activities have been developed since 2004, including the promotion, engagement of interested regions and cooperating organizations; forums for the exchange of experiences, knowledge and information; region-specific workshops; an international training programme, and an interactive Web page aimed at the documentation of experiences, information about activities of the participating ‘nodes’, and a compilation of training documents. The above activities have been implemented through a cooperation network, comprised by entities interested in integrated regional development management, which includes governmental institutions of the national and sub national levels, private national and international organizations, UN agencies, universities and research centers of various Latin American countries. Project activities over the past two years have focused on a theme of increasing relevance in the countries, i.e., regional integration and territorial planning that articulate local agendas in issues of human security, biodiversity and climate change adaptation.

UNCRD has widened its cooperation network to the International Urban Development Association (INTA), which counts on a global network of high level experts, and is highly interested in UNCRD-LAC activities and the topics developed under its South-South Cooperation Programme. This provides an important opportunity to exchange expertise and experiences and contribute to the strengthening of a regional network of expertise in Integrated Regional Development. UNCRD-LAC has also initiated collaborative arrangements with other UN agencies interested on the theme of territorial planning and management, as UN-HABITAT, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC).

Activities developed during the past two years have specifically focused on the assessment of training needs, discussing theory and practice about Integrated Regional Development Management, exchanging relevant experiences and knowledge, and analyzing relevant tools and instruments to support territorial integration processes. The programme will continue providing a scenario for the in-depth analysis and improvement of tools and instruments (functional-spatial, social, environmental, institutional, fiscal and financial) to facilitate processes of regional integration and inter-jurisdictional territorial planning, vis-à-vis specific priority issues and dynamics of each participating region.

The Regional Panels and International Forum implemented in June respond to the agenda of activities programmed for 2010 which focused on two Colombian regions: (a) the Bogotá-Cundinamarca region which has been supported by UNCRD-LAC since 2010; and (b) the Caribbean region which has requested UNCRD-LAC´s support for its consolidation process.

The methodology used in the Panel implementation included:
(1) Previous consolidation of existing information; and (2) Development of the ‘panel’ (intensive short time group work with duration of 3-4 days) with a team of experts on specific priority issues of each participating region. This activity was structured as follows: (a) Visit of experts and representatives of participating regions to the territories in each region; (b) Interviews of experts with public officials and other relevant stakeholders of the region; and (c) Short workshop (2 days) with participation of invited experts and key stakeholders (decision makers) who analyzed and discussed priority issues of each region. The workshop finalized with the presentation of results of the sessions developed and an additional session to identify a specific work plan for the region.

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