Iberoamerican Forum on Sustainable Cities

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On September 11, 2013, the Iberoamerican Forum on Sustainable Cities -a new forum within the context of the Iberoamerican Meeting on Sustainable Development (EIMA 2013)-, was held at the City of Knowledge, this time focusing on the role of cities to advance in global sustainability.

Organized by CONAMA Foundation, MAPFRE Foundation, the City of Knowledge Foundation, CIDES and Itaipu Binacional, this event took place at the City of Knowledge Convention Center, and was held just a day before the beginning of the 8th Local Governments Forum, organized by the Mayor's Office of Panama City, which brought together many of the mayors of the major Iberoamerican cities.

The Forum was inaugurated with welcoming words from the Executive Director of the City of Knowledge Foundation, Jorge Arosemena, who took the opportunity to remember Dr. Rodrigo Tarté (RIP) who was the driving force for sustainability within the City of Knowledge. He noted that the City of Knowledge is committed to the issue of sustainability, as indicated by its Master Plan, and mentioned the achievements of the LEED Gold and Platinum certified buildings, which will set the pace for the future in which the City of Knowledge seeks to become a unique Sustainable City in Panama.

Antonio Guzmán, General Manager of the Prevention, Health and Environment Institute of the MAPFRE Foundation, was pleased to participate in an event that promotes the exchange of knowledge on the subject of sustainability.

Meanwhile Gonzalo Echagüe, President of the CONAMA Foundation, remembered Dr. Tarté and his work and interest in everything related to the environment as well as the sustainability of cities. He also highlighted the work of CONAMA Foundation, which is responsible for the organization of the National Environmental Congress (Spain), and also stressed that it is the third time the Iberoamerican Meeting on Sustainable Development (EIMA) arrives to Panama.

A round table discussion was held, moderated by Engineer Andrés Tarté, regarding the environmental challenges of Iberoamerican cities. The round table was composed of Pablo Adrián Hardy, Economic Adviser to the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), Alexandre de Bonis, of the Secretariat for the Environment of Rio de Janeiro, Lineth Grau, Environmental Advisor of the Mayor of Panama, Kristtian Rada, Regional Coordinator of Business Regulation for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank, Mara Murillo, Deputy Regional Director of UNEP's Regional Office forLatin America, Jair Kotz, Superintendent for the Environment of Itaipu Binacional, and Eduardo Reyes, Climate Change Senior Adviser of the Environmental Commission of APEDE.

The round table discussion focused on topics such as: improving environmental policies and sustainability by governments in the region, working with public and private sector, sustainable practices incorporated by businesses, consumer behavior patterns, sustainability as a business, incentives for sustainable buildings, recovery of environmental liabilities, local consumption, weather emergency programs, sustainable climate regime, and the integration of the social, economic and environmental aspects within cities, among others.

The forum aimed to analyze the environmental challenges of Iberoamerican cities with the vision of local governments, international organizations and companies, at an event open to all stakeholders involved in building sustainable cities.