UN-HABITAT is pleased to announce this year’s Habitat Scroll of Honour Awards to the following recipients. This is the most prestigious award given by the United Nations in recognition of work carried out in the field of human settlements development. The aim of the award is to honour individuals and institutions that have been instrumental in improving the living conditions in urban centers around the world.
The National Cities Conference Programme, of the Ministry of Cities in Brazil, is awarded for impressive work in promoting the participation of ordinary people in urban policy-making. The creation of the Ministry of Cities in 2003 and the annual National Cities Conference has revolutionized social participation in Brazil resulting in far-reaching impacts on pro-poor innovations in urban planning and housing. The partners in this initiative are the local communities, the private sector, non governmental organizations, professional, academic and research organizations, labour unions, and government officials. All contribute to decisions on policies executed by the Ministry.
The Yangzhou Municipal People’s Government in China’s Jiangsu Province is awarded for conservation of the old city and improving the residential environment. With a population of 1.28 million people, Yangzhou has been transformed from a shanty town into a clean, modern city within five years. A total of US$770 million has been invested in solving housing problems for over 148,000 people through the renovation of 3,050 housing units in the city centre, and construction of 33,000 units of affordable houses. The Municipality has invested US$2 billion for the construction of infrastructure and has guaranteed the supply of water, electricity and gas mainly to the poor. Through cooperation with local real estate development companies, the Municipality offers land buyers low prices and waives government fees to enable land ownership.
France and Egypt
The French firm Veolia Environnement and the Governorate of Alexandria are awarded for exemplary public and private sector collaboration in Alexandria's solid waste management.
This first Public Private Partnership of its in the Egyptian waste management sector was signed in September 2000 and launched in 2001 for a period of 15 years. It is run jointly and successfully by the Governorate of Alexandria and a private firm, Veolia Environnement, a leading private provider of environmental services to municipalities and industry.
The main objective of the partnership is to provide integrated management for the 1 million tons of waste generated every year by over 5 million inhabitants, for the whole Governorate of Alexandria, from collection and cleaning to treatment, and final recycling. It also includes compost applications, the rehabilitation of two old dump sites, as well as the collection and treatment of medical waste. The scheme provides employment to 4,500 city cleaners, and provides for the collection and the treatment of 2,500 tons of waste every day (3,100 tons during summer). The success lies in the fact that 100 percent of the waste is treated while 150,000 tons of compost are produced and sold every year to local farmers, thus boosting farming in the area.
The waste project has registered for a listing as a certified Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol because it involves landfill gas recovery expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 3.7 million metric tons over the period 2005-2015.
Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is personally awarded with the 2006 Habitat Scroll of Honour for his his tireless work to help improve the plight of slum dwellers around the world.
One of the most senior Vatican officials, Cardinal Martino has repeatedly pledged the continued support of the Roman Catholic Church to help improve the plight of slum dwellers around the world. He personally intervened with the Kenyan government in 2004 to prevent the mass eviction of people living in Kibera, a crowded Nairobi slum that is home to over 700,000 people, through which the authorities had intended to build a new city bypass.
At the time, he personally met Mrs. Tibaijuka, and President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya. Cardinal Martino raised the need to tackle the root causes of slums which he said were a “result of under-development and poverty because people who cannot earn a decent living in rural areas and come to the city for something better, get disappointed”. The problem of slums could therefore only disappear when countries are properly developed so that the aspirations of people are fulfilled wherever they may live. He acknowledged though that achieving global development would take a long time so in the meantime, we must continue to address the challenge of slums.
Born in Salerno, Italy on 23 November 1932, Cardinal Martino is an Italian churchman, who was ordained as a priest in 1957. He holds a doctorate in Canon law and entered the Vatican's diplomatic service in 1962, serving in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Lebanon, Canada and Brazil. In 1980, he was given a pro-nuncio diplomatic appointment to Thailand, and was named Archbishop of the titular see of Segerme. He was appointed named President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York in October 2002. A year later, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals. In 2005 he was one of the cardinal electors who voted in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.
Pag IBIG Fund based in the Philippines is nominated for making the dream of affordable housing a reality for hundreds of thousands of households. The fund was set up in 1979 and sustained for 27 years. It offers a rich variety of housing solutions with special attention for investments of Filipino migrants working overseas. By its very name, which stands for “Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya, at Gobyerno”, Pag-IBIG Fund works towards making a reality the vision of a home for every Filipino family. Created on June 11, 1978, the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) has a two-pronged mandate: generation of savings and provision of shelter for the Filipino workers.
Yaroslavl City Administration in central Russia is cited for delivering high quality fresh water to its entire population. Yaroslavl is situated on the Volga River. For over 50 years, the water supply was not only inadequate but highly polluted and contaminated by effluent from the big industries in central Russia and raw sewage. The Yaroslavl city administration determined to provide clean water to all its residents and constructed three water supply stations, over 80 boosting pump stations and several sewage treatment plants. Disposal of untreated sewage into the Volga has stopped. Partners in the project were the European Union, and experts from American, Dutch and German companies. Moscow financed the construction of the third stage of the city water treatment and purification plants for the sewage systems. Monies collected from local water consumers remain the main source of funding for sustaining the project.
The Habitat Scroll of Honour is awarded each year on World Habitat Day, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness about the state of human settlements.
This year, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka will present the awards to the winners as part of this year’s Global Celebrations of World Habitat Day, on 2 October 2006, in Naples, Italy and 4 October 2006 in Kazan, Russian Federation. The National Cities Conference Programme, The Yangzhou Municipal People’s Government in China’s Jiangsu Province, Veolia Environnement and the Governorate of Alexandria and Cardinal Renato Martino are expected to receive their awards in Naples, while Pag IBIG Fund and Yaroslavl City Administration in central Russia will receive their awards in Kazan.
For more details about the awardees and how to contact them please get in touch with the Spokesperson’s office.
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