Sustainable Development

Cities & Water

In the second event of Canning House's Sustainable Development series, Cities and Water with support from CAF - Development Bank of Latin America and  Foreign,  Commonwealth & Development  Office (FCDO), we focused on urban planning and sustainable water solutions in Latin America.

The conference  brought together experts from across industry, NGOs, and government. The event opened with a warm introduction from Julián Suárez, Vice-President of Sustainable Development at CAF.

Canning House's Sustainable Development series of events and conferences focuses on the themes of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the aims of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in a Latin American context. This event addresses SDGs #11 Sustainable Cities & Communities and #6 Clean Water & Sanitation.

Panel 1: Sustainable Cities & Communities

Pablo López, Sustainable Cities Coordinator at CAF, opened the first session with an introductory presentation giving context to Latin America as a ‘continent of cities’, and looking deeper at the key features of the urbanization process in the region.

Our panel was chaired by Director for Latin America & the Caribbean at UN-Habitat, Elkin Velásquez, following from his first event with Canning House on Security & Violence in Cities back in January 2020. The panel discussed first the practices of urban sustainability that governments and communities have applied to respond to the multidimensional effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and followed this with a deeper look at what lessons can be learnt from the crisis for a resilient and sustainable recovery of cities, including practices that could inspire others in the future.

We heard expert input from Rodrigo Perpétuo, Regional Director for South America at ICLEI, Leticia Gutiérrez Lorandi, General Director of Policy, Coordination and Environmental Culture at the Secretariat of Environment in Mexico City, and Sara Candiracci, Associate Director, Inclusive and Resilient Cities Lead at Arup.

Panel 2: Water & Wastewater

The second session opened with an overview from Franz Rojas, Water Agenda Coordinator at CAF, who presented CAF’s Water Strategy 2019-2022, and highlighted that while the Latin America has made important progress to improve in the water sector over the last twenty years, there remains significant challenges and gaps in access across the region.

The panel was chaired by Maria Manidaki, Principal Water Investment Planning Advisor at Mott MacDonald, one of Canning House’s corporate members. The panel looked at water within a wider landscape, addressing topics such as sanitation challenges in Brazil, the impact the mining industry on water, and the path to water security in Panama.  We heard from Breno Silva, Chairman at LideUK, Karen Dingley, Technical Director for Mining & Water at Golder, and Luz González, Deputy Director at IDAAN

Panel 3: Project Funding

The conference drew to a close with a discussion on project finance, chaired by Canning House CEO, Cristina Cortes. We first heard from Rose Trigg, Regional Head for Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Americas at UKEF, who highlighted UKEF’s Sustainability Agenda and how they support projects in the fields of both sustainable cities and water. We then heard from Ignacio Andino, Director of Origination and Business Development at CAF, who shared insight into the types of projects that CAF is securing funding for in the region.


Canning House’s next event in the Sustainable Development Series will be on 23/02/2020, looking at The Energy Transition.

We hope to see you there!

More recent webinars

Becoming a member at Canning House

By joining Canning House, you will become part of the UK's leading forum for informed comment, contacts and debate on Latin American politics, economics and business.

Just £50 per year.

Join now

Learn more

Sign up to our newsletter

All of Canning House's activities, including our upcoming events, insightful publications, latest news, and featured events from the UK-Latin America community.

In your inbox, every week, for free.