Urban initiatives highlighted

Participants at the conference

Some of the participants at the conference.

THE country’s urban development initiatives have been emphasized by the Minister for Lands, Housing & Survey Hon. Moses Garu, Monday.

Garu was speaking at the opening of the three days Solomon Islands National Urban Conference (SINUC) which will end today in Honiara.

“My Ministry is fortune to have a number of initiatives tackling the cross cutting urban issues.

“The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) with the support of the Australian Government is assisting the Ministry in directly addressing urban planning, informal settlement upgrading, human resources management and legislative reforms.

“With assistance from SPC we have prepared and finalised a new local planning scheme for Honiara, and we have revived seven out of the nine towns and country planning boards in Solomon Islands since last year,” he said.

Minister Garu said that more effort will be done this year to visit the remaining two provinces and to start work on local planning schemes for some of the provincial centres.

“UN-HABITAT also works within the Ministry in the Participatory Slums Upgrading Programme (PSUP) and this conference will help to produce the Informal Settlement Upgrading and Honiara Climate Change Strategy.”

He added that the urbanisation in Honiara study by the Australia National University (ANU) is also looking at managing change and creating opportunities for our urban population.

“ADB has expressed a strong interest in becoming involved in assisting my Ministry to address urbanisation issues especially focusing on greater Honiara area.

“All these collaboration start at Honiara as the national capital and will eventually moves towards the greater Honiara area and to the provincial urban centres in the country,” he said.

By Admin/News Desk