Past Initiative News

ECPA Sustainable Communities Initiative to Host Building Sustainable Cities and Communities in the Americas Focus of OAS Experts Meeting in Guatemala

Thursday, May 30, 2013

For Immediate Release
Contact: Luisa Neira

Washington, D.C, May 28, 2013-
Over the past 3 decades, the Americas has become the most urbanized region in the world, resulting in serious challenges for social and economic infrastructure, especially housing and transportation, as well as for the quality of human health and the health of the environment.

Against this background, City Mayors, development planners and civil society representatives will meet on June 2 and 3 at Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española in Antigua, Guatemala, under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) to share ideas, experiences and best practices on ways to build functional cities in the Americas.

The meetings are part of the Sustainable Communities in Central America and the Caribbean initiative which was launched in 2012 with support from the Government of the United States of America.

The first meeting on June 2 will involve representatives of 14 non-governmental organizations from 10 countries who received $50,000 grants to execute innovative demonstration projects at the community level within the framework of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA).

Each grantee will present highlights on progress made so far, challenges encountered, and Opportunities for replicating or moving project to scale.

On June 3, a Public Roundtable will held which will provide an opportunity for policymakers, NGO representatives, and the private sector to exchange lessons learned and best practices for implementing and scaling-up of sustainable cities demonstration projects.

The Opening Ceremony of the Roundtable will be addressed by H.E. Marcia Roxana Sobenes García, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Guatemala; Excellency José Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General of the Organization of the American States (OAS); and Excellency Carmen Lomellin, Ambassador, and Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the OAS.

A feature of the Roundtable will be a Mayors Panel moderated by V. Sherry Tross Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the GS/OAS, which will address the theme: Portrait of a Sustainable City. Speakers will include the Hon. Eduardo Rivera Pérez, Municipal President of Puebla, México, the Hon. José Antonio Coro García, Mayor of the Municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala and Dr. Ricardo José Manager of the World Urban Forum and representative of the municipal government of Medellin.

The roundtable will focus on priority areas for cooperation on sustainable development in the Americas in the run-up to the 7th World Urban Forum in Medellin in 2014.