The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Ministry of the Environment of the Government of Japan, United Nations ESCAP, and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development, with supports from various international organizations and donor agencies, will be jointly organizing the Fifth Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum from 23 to 25 August 2010 at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, in Bangkok, Thailand.
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Bangkok (UN ESCAP Information Services) — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Ministry of the Environment of the Government of Japan, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), with supports from various international organizations and donor agencies, will be jointly organizing the Fifth Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum from 23 to 25 August 2010 at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, in Bangkok, Thailand.
Under the Asian EST Initiative, which is a joint initiative of UNCRD and the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan, the Regional EST Forum provides a strategic and knowledge platform for sharing experiences and disseminating among Asian countries best practices, policy instruments, tools, and technologies in relation to various aspects of EST. The Regional EST Forum comprises: (1) high-level government representatives (from the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Health); and (2) a subsidiary group of experts in various thematic areas related to EST. Participating countries include members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Asian countries, Mongolia, People’s Republic of China, Korea, and Japan, altogether twenty-two Asian countries.
The 5th Regional EST Forum with the theme “A New Decade in Sustainable Transport” seeks to provide a strategic platform to discuss a range of issues in transport sector and develop a common understanding among participating countries on various sustainable policy options with a specific emphasis to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The 5th Forum is expected to address a range of relevant issues and share practical cases under sustainable transport agenda such as – building partnership and funding mechanisms to make things happen, urban and regional rail development, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), fuel efficiency, and sustainable freight transport.
Also, given that the issue of transport and sustainable development, among others, will be considered by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in its fourth implementation cycle in 2010 (CSD-18) and 2011 (CSD-19), the Fifth Regional EST Forum is expected to enhance regional input to CSD-19 which will discuss and address various policy options on the transport sector for sustainable development. A goodwill declaration – “Bangkok 2020 Declaration – Sustainable Transport Goals for 2010-2020,” with an objective of demonstrating the renewed interest and commitment of Asian countries towards realizing a promising decade (2010-2020) of sustainable actions and measures for achieving safe, secure, affordable, efficient, and people and environmentally friendly transport in rapidly urbanizing Asia, is also expected to be discussed at the Fifth Forum.
Mr. Kazunobu Onogawa, Director of UNCRD, remarked,
“there is a need for a wider-scale adoption of integrated transport measures at local and national level without which the opportunity for a pro-active transformation of Asia’s transport may be lost over the coming decade. An integrated transport strategy that is well supported through the adoption of the Aichi Statement in the First Regional EST Forum in 2005 should be built on both incentives for sustainable modes as well as disincentives for private motorized vehicles, and should ensure that all facets of sustainable transport are developed as a complementary package, including the planning of non-motorized and public transport options in both urban and rural areas.”
“The Fifth Regional EST Forum in Bangkok will not only contribute towards improved understanding and strengthened regional consensus in terms of sustainable policy options, technological and institutional measures that promotes sustainable and low-carbon-transport, but would also provide an unique opportunity to address and identify opportunities for collaborative actions and partnerships, including international financial mechanism, on implementing affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound transport systems in Asian countries with the aim to reduce and prevent environmental impacts from transport sector”, said Dr. Supat Wangwongwatana, Director General, Pollution Control Department of MONRE, Thailand, while welcoming the active participation of Asian countries in the expanding Forum.
As a side event of the Forum, ASEAN-GTZ Technical Cooperation on “Clean Air for Smaller Cities” and Pollution Control Department (PCD) of MONRE-Thailand will organize back-to-back a National Workshop on Clean Air for Smaller Cities on 26 August 2010 at the same venue involving Thai cities and international experts. The side event is expected to address meaningful synergy between EST measures and clean air with an objective to protect public health and environment.
Ms. Siwaporn R.
UN ESCAP, Thailand:
Mr. Lorenzo Santucci