Partnership Opportunities for Sustainable DevelopmentThu, 05/19/2016 - 12:58
The speaker, Dolf Hogewoning, Ambassador of The Netherlands to Mexico, discussed the opportunities of cooperation with Mexico and companies through Partnerships for Sustainable Development. Hogewoning illustrated key issues, such as that in 2014, 54% of the population lived in cities and in 2050 the percentage is expected to reach 66%. Urbanization is moving millions of people toward metropolitan areas.
An important element for the Netherlands is climate change vulnerability, as negative consequences of global warming are becoming increasingly more serious. Rising sea levels are affecting the Ambassador’s country as land is consumed by the sea. The Netherlands has learned to adapt to climate change’s impact, stated Hogewoning, managing to reduce risk for the next 50 years. Additional space has been given to rivers and springs to protect the nation’s safety. A balance between green areas and construction has been found, and toxic emissions have successfully been reduced. Finally, efficient policy-making allowed the Netherlands to improve urban transportation.
The Ambassador believes that Mexico shares a similar international commitment to fulfill the Sustainable Development goals for the 2030 Agenda. The 11th goal in particular, focused on sustainable cities and communities, was highlighted in his presentation, as resilient and smart cities optimize efficiency and urban development. In Mexico, the Netherlands has created an alliance with the Secretariat of Agricultural, Land and Urban Development (SEDATU). Their relationship focuses on water supply with activities that help develop a sustainable use of public space. The Netherlands also intends to create alliances with entities such as the Secretariat of Agriculture and the National Water Commission, aiming to benefit both countries.
The Netherlands can learn plenty from Mexico’s management of its major obstacles such as natural disasters and challenges within Mexico City. On the other hand, the Netherlands shares its experience with effective water and territorial management, as well as specialized technology, investigation and training to help Mexico accomplish sustainability goals. The Netherlands has already begun to implement pilot projects in areas such as Veracruz, Puebla, and Cuernavaca toward creating intelligent cities.
Hogewoning stated that the Urban Sustainability Summit 2016 was an opportunity to unite efforts and highlighted the willingness of the Netherlands to cooperate with other players and authorities.