Agriculture, Land and Rural DevelopmentFAOCSDUNEP
World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa 2002

Message 8

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  From: "RIO10-Moderator" 
Subject: Message 8 - Intervention by Alexandre Repetti
Date: Wednesday, March 07, 2001 5:09 AM

I'm a PhD student in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne
(EPFL), working on land-use management in developing cities.

This message is a response to Message 4 and to the paper "The Place of
Agriculture in Sustainable Development: The Way Forward on SARD"

Social and Institutional Issues : A challenge for the application of the

If all the proposed trends are inter-linked, my experience is that the
social, cultural and institutional issues are major points for the
application of the technological and political solutions to problems.

I'll base my proposal on the example of the city of Thies, Senegal, which is
representative of numerous medium cities of the world. Thies is a 100'000
inhabitants city, experimenting a 4% growth rate per year, and therefore a
large extension of the urbanized zone, upon the agricultural land and the
rural villages.

The city has been for a long time an experimental zone for NGO's, especially
ENDA TW (1). The consequence is the existence of a structured civil society,
active in the city districts and in the villages next to the urbanized zone.
Three years ago, facing too many demands from the civil society, the city
administration has contact the NGO ENDA and the EPFL to help them to solve
their problems of resources management (land, water, soils) and to propose a
new land-use plan, which could be done together between the City, the
associations of the civil society and the villages (about 40) next to the
city. The negotiation did last two years long. This first step can be
consider as an important result, the social, cultural and institutional
condition were favorable enough to the initiation of such a demarche, and it
took the necessary time.

On this basis, we are experimenting a participative land-use planning,
integrated with resources management (2). The funding of the seminars, data
acquisition... are taken in the city budget. And the conditions are
favorable to technical tools, based on GIS and Information technologies. We
are proposing an instrument panel, based on sustainability indicators for
the following up of the development of the region, allowing the top-down and
the bottom-up communication. We are using it to establish the land-use
planning of the region, integrated with resources management. And the
conditions are fvorable to the application of the plansand strategies.

I just wanted to present this little example to focus your attention on the
conditions of sustainability, especially on the social and institutional
predisposition to discussion, to participation of several actors of the
development. In our case, the political will is a consequence of the civil
society strengthening, and the technical solutions to environment management
have found good conditions. These observations are general to urban and
rural areas, and in case of small and medium cities, experimenting urban
agriculture, experimenting a seasonal urban/rural population, the difference
between urban and rural is not that easy to make.

(2) funding Swiss development and cooperation SDC


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