Sustainable Transport Contribution to Rio+20 and its Implementation
16 Jun 2012
New York, USA
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Organizing partners

The side event is organized by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) on behalf of the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) which with 65 members is the largest multi-stakeholder partnership on sustainable transport. For full membership see: Other organizing partners include Asian Development Bank, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Inter-American Development Bank, Latin American Development Bank, United Nations Center for Regional Development, United Nations Department for Social and Economic Affairs


Transport comprises a significant economic sector in most countries and is of particular relevance to the green economy theme of Rio+20 because of its potential for wide-ranging environmental, economic and social development benefits. There is a growing realization that the current rapid unrestrained growth in private motorization while improving access is not sustainable. This side event organized on behalf of the SLoCaT Partnership will present the contribution of the sustainable transport community to the Rio+20 Conference and its implementation. This includes: (a) a Roadmap for Sustainable Transport in the coming years including a set of targets and indicators, (b) voluntary commitments by a group of multilateral development banks as well other stakeholders on sustainable transport, and (c) description of proposed institutional framework for sustainable transport in the post Rio+20 period.

Detailed programme

Improved access to markets, jobs, schools and health facilities are essential to make progress in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Economic development, social inclusion, environmental protection are prerequisites for sustainable development, Yet they all rely on sustainable transport systems. Much of the increase in transport related energy use will come from the developing world, and road accidents are already responsible for 1.4 million deaths and affect a further 14 million people through injuries not to mention the extensive local air pollution that is attributed to transport.

To set out a more sustainable development path for the transport sector, especially in developing countries, the international transport community has come together through the Partnership for Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport ( SLoCaT, with over 65 member organizations (UN organizations, multilateral development banks, technical cooperation agencies, NGOs, research organizations and other organizations), is the leading multi-stakeholder network on sustainable transport and mobility in developing countries.

The SLoCaT Partnership has been encouraged in its efforts to promote sustainable mobility by the recent endorsements recognizing the vital importance of sustainable transportation in advancing sustainable development, including the Bangkok 2020 Declaration on Sustainable Transport, endorsed by 22 Asian countries, the Bogota Declaration on Sustainable Transport, endorsed by 9 Latin American nations, as well as the Amsterdam Declaration on Sustainable Transport endorsed by 36 countries in Europe, Central Asia and Northern America.

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon launched on 25 January, 2012 a 5 Year Action Plan for his second term which includes the development and implementation of a post-2015 sustainable development framework. The UN system will be mobilized to support global, regional and national strategies to address 5 building blocks of sustainable development one of which is sustainable transport.

Rio+20 and its follow-up can greatly facilitate and catalyze the promotion of sustainable mobility in developing countries by: (a) acknowledging the critical role that improved mobility and access play in securing a prosperous, secure and sustainable future for the planet and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals referred to in the preamble of the Zero Draft Outcome Document; and (b) providing guidance to countries and other stakeholders working on transport regarding effective ways they can contribute to the realization of sustainable mobility.

The following presentations are planned in the side event:

a) Road map on Sustainable Transport ? Michael Replogle, Global Policy Director and Founder ITDP and Chairperson SLoCaT Working Group on Sustainable Transport Roadmap.

After having agreed on the lack of environmental, social and economic sustainability of current motorization patterns and after having built support for the new paradigm of ?Avoid-Shift-Improve? the time has come to agree on (i) a common definition of sustainable transport, (ii) a set of sustainability indicators and (iii) targets and milestones towards reaching the targets. A common definition and appropriate indicators are necessary to evaluate the implementation of sustainable transport following Rio+20. This presentation will be based on the outputs of a SLoCaT working group.

b) Joint Voluntary Commitment on Sustainable Transport by Multilateral Development Banks ? Bindu Lohani, Vice President, Knowledge Management, Regional and Sustainable Development Department, ADB.

The UN is planning that the Rio+20 outcome will include a registry/compendium of voluntary commitments made by parties wishing to advance particular aspects of Sustainable Development. Since MDBs play a key role in supporting the transport sector in developing countries by providing about $ 20 billion for transport projects, a joint MDB statement outlining their shared commitment to ST can send a powerful signal and reinforce the case for giving more attention to ST.

c) Post 2012 Institutional Framework for Sustainable Transport - Nikhil Seth, Director Sustainable Development, DESA

For the transport sector to be able to make a significant contribution to the transition to a green economy it is important to have transport sector-specific IFSD that will enable UN organizations and multilateral development banks supported by other stakeholders to take on a lead role in scaling-up effective sustainable, low carbon transport policies and interventions. There is an important role to play for the intergovernmental Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forums in Asia, Latin America and Africa provided that they are able to ensure that regional policy agreements reached will actually be implemented and regularly reported upon. It will also be important to link the regional EST Forums to the new SG High Level Council on Transport which will be established soon.

These three presentations will be followed by comments from a senior representative from UITP, the European Commission (the Directorate General - MOVE), as well as senior representatives from Indonesia, Colombia or Mexico and South Africa. These are all countries which have an excellent track record in promoting sustainable transport and which have contributed actively towards the development of SLoCaT?s recommendations on sustainable transport for the Rio+20 Conference.
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