MEDIA RELEASE: International Planning Conference to highlight Sustainable Development in Fiji

04 November 2016

The Planning for Sustainable Development Conference brings together influential speakers and delegates from around the Commonwealth to discuss central issues facing planners and local and central government practitioners around the world, with a particular focus on Fiji and the Pacific.

The conference theme flows from the Sustainable Development Goals designed to end poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.

Held at the Shangri La Resort in Sigatoka from November 7-10, the conference will raise and address different areas of planning including the impacts of natural hazards, housing shortages, climate change and declining infrastructure.

The programme also features study tours in Nadi, Lautoka and Suva and includes visiting the urban village of Namotomoto to look at options of relocating the village due to flooding issues, visiting the coastal village of Viseisei, which is prone to hazards associated with climate change and the long-term challenges faced by the cities of Lautoka, Nadi and Suva as their regions continues to grow.

The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI), in collaboration with the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) and supported by the Planning Institute of Australia, is organising the annual conference for the first time in the Pacific. NZPI and CAP are partnering with the Fiji government and are being assisted by a special Task force of government officials. The Assistant Minister of Local Government, Housing and Environment will open the Conference proceedings. The Conference is warmly supported by Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland who is providing a video message of support.

Chair of the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) Bryce Julyan says the links between environmental sustainability and economic development are now better understood, indicating that a good planning system is critical to effect positive change. The agreement of the UNs New Urban Agenda in Quito recently steers governments to focus on sustainable development including the problems of rapid urbanisation and climate change

"The Pacific region is one of the largest areas in the world and faces some of the biggest planning challenges that are also shared by other nations. The conference is about planning for the future through mutual learning, sharing ideas and identifying tools and practical actions through real life case studies from the Pacific," says Julyan.

He says he's pleased those attending the conference from different parts of the world will get to see firsthand the issues in Fiji and the rest of the Pacific.

A special feature at the conference is the launch of a new project on rapid urbanization and climate change by the Prince's Foundation for Building Community. The foundation, works to transform lives by building resilient, beautiful places and supporting others to do the same.

The Commonwealth Association of Planners is a major global institution in planning playing an increasingly significant role in the worldwide promotion of planning as fundamental to sustainable development.

Bryce Julyan will be available for interviews in Fiji.

For more information contact Communications Advisor, Sandra Kailahi + 64 21 441 443 or email