ITDP leads UNCSD Side Event on Sustainable Transport

18. UNCSD_Sustran_2012March27

ITDP’s Global Policy Director, Michael Replogle, discussed transport’s role in advancing a green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication at an inter-sessional preparatory meeting of UN Conference on Sustainable Development in advance of the Rio+20 global conference in June, 2012. He was joined by Holger Dalkman, director of EMBARQ, Cornie Huizenga, Joint-Convener of the Partnership for Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport, and Rafael Acevedo, of the Inter-American Development Bank.

The importance of transport in the context of sustainable development as well as the need to make specific reference to sustainable transport in the Rio+20 outcome was confirmed by the three panelists in the side event: Stephan Contius, Chief Rio+20 negotiator for Germany,  Hodayah Finman of the US delegation to the second Intersessional and Mr Dana Kartakusuma, Assistant Minister of Environment for Economy and Sustainable Development. All three of them called on the sustainable transport community to continue their efforts to raise the profile of sustainable transport in the Rio+20 process.

Rafael Acevedo, of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) indicated support on behalf of the IDB as well as the Asian Development Bank for sustainable transport in the Rio+20 process and made reference to a joint initiative of a group of development banks to develop a joint statement on sustainable transport which could also be entered as as a voluntary commitment at Rio+20.

The event was aimed at helping parties to the CSD consider why it is important to incorporate transport in the Rio+20 discussions and outcomes and how this can be best accomplished. Transport is a key sector for sustainable development; improved access to markets, jobs, schools and health facilities are essential to make progress in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Transport was recognized by the UN General Secretary in his January 25, 2012 Five-Year UN Action Agenda as one of five key building blocks for sustainable development. Transport was referenced in half of the country submissions to the Rio+20 Compilation document in late 2011, but gained relatively little attention in the initial draft of the Rio+20 outcome document. This event helped frame discussion of this important issue for the Rio+20 process in the 3rd Intersessional Preparatory meeting.

See Next American City’s coverage of Rio+20: Rio + 20: What if Transportation is an Afterthought?