The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help support Thailand’s water and flood management, as well as accounting and financial management reform in the railway sector, with two technical assistance (TA) grants launched today.

A $1.5 million grant will help develop guidelines, checklists and information management systems for monitoring and evaluating the implementation and impact of flood management in Thailand, while a $0.95 million Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) grant will help improve railway sector performance with a view to enhancing the country’s economic competitiveness.

“Integrated water resources management based on river basins is essential for a participatory and inclusive management model,” said Craig Steffensen, Country Director of the ADB’s Thailand Resident Mission. “At the same time, assisting the State Railway of Thailand to better its accounting and financial information systems will help improve railway operations.”

In line with Thailand’s Master Plan for Water Resources Management, the Strengthening Integrated Water and Flood Management Implementation project team will develop frameworks for water assessments and system analysis, as well as update existing studies on the Yom River Basin.

The TA will also develop innovative approaches for stakeholder consultation and participation. It will be implemented over a two-year period, starting from January 2013, with the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board as the executing agency.

Thailand’s government aims to increase the share of rail in freight transport, raising it from the current 2% to 8% by 2020. The government’s strong commitment to reforming the rail sector is evident in its pledge to provide significant financial resources to modernize and improve railway operations, with investments of up to B176 billion committed during 2010-2015. In addition, Thailand has stated that it wishes to reinvigorate its rail network and services to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and road freight and to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The grants, launched today by ADB’s Thailand Resident Mission, Ministry of Finance of Thailand, and the Embassy of Japan, will be funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and administered by ADB. Read More

Asia must scale up sustainable transport development or face a bleak future of congested roads, pollution, ill health and economic damage, which could have ripple effects around the world, a high level transport forum in Manila heard.

Sustainable Transport ADB graphic
Sustainable Transport ADB graphic

“The choice is to let unsustainable transport become entrenched with dire consequences for the economy, quality of life, health and climate change, or to begin making the changes needed for a sustainable transport future,” said Bindu Lohani, Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The third ADB Transport Forum focuses on “Inclusive and Sustainable Transport,” providing a platform for more than 400 global transport experts, civil society representatives, development partners and senior officials from developing member countries to discuss key regional transport challenges, share knowledge, and brainstorm ideas to improve the sector.

Booming cities and rising incomes are fueling a dramatic surge in vehicle fleets across Asia. In 1980, just one in 10 motorized vehicles in the world was in Asia, but by 2030 the region is expected to account for nearly half the global total. The epidemic of cars and trucks already weighs heavily, with Asia’s cities now suffering the highest air pollution levels in the world and traffic accidents in the region killing nearly 2,000 people a day.

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