February 27, 2009

Final Statement from 4th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Seoul, Korea

The participants, having met in Seoul, the Republic of Korea from 24 to 26 February 2009, for the Fourth Regional EST Forum, to draw up and adopt a statement for the promotion of environmentally sustainable transport in Asia,

Noting that Asia is experiencing the fastest economic growth and by mid of this century, and at the current growth rate there might be more motorized vehicles in Asia than there would be in Europe and North America combined, and that the profound impact of this trend on quality of human life and environment can not be underestimated,

Reaffirming and building upon the integrated EST measures defined under the Aichi Statement adopted at the First Regional EST Forum in Asia, held in Nagoya, Japan, on 1-2 August 2005, and considering that efforts to promote environmentally sustainable transport will not only result in the improvement of human health through the reduction of urban air pollution, but will also have important complementary (co-)benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,

Recognizing the outcome of the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific held in Seoul in 2005, which endorsed environmentally sustainable economic growth, Green Growth, as a policy focus and important strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as decoupling environmental degradation from development,

Noting the commitment made by the Ministries of Health in Member States in the resolution of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in September 2008 to assess the health implications of the decisions made on climate change by the transport sector and advocate for the decision that provide opportunities for improving health,

Realizing that transport services affect all aspects of sustainability – social, economic, and environmental – and that there is a need for safe, clean, and energy-efficient transport in order to achieve green growth through low-carbon transport in Asia, the participants are thus called upon to:

  1. Address transport issues with the broader environmental aims of green growth to encompass the transport-energy-carbon emission nexus, from energy consumption to the emissions and climate change perspectives;
  2. Develop strategies for low-carbon transport including the increasing shift to energy-efficient and low carbon modes to mitigate the effects of transport on climate, and the effects of climate change on transport services and other socioeconomic sectors;
  3. Focus on sustainable mobility and transport demand management (TDM) tools and measures [such as – parking controls (including parking charges and pricing), road pricing and congestion charging, fuel and vehicle taxation, low and zero emission zones, car-free day, city centre pedestrianization, public transport priority and improvement measures, transit oriented development, appropriate road- space allocation to high-occupancy vehicles, efficient and affordable mass transit systems (such as BRT), and measures to help and develop non-motorized transport (walking and cycling) ], etc. with stakeholder consultation and participation rather than relying only on end-of-pipe solutions, so that local air pollutants and GHG emissions from transport sector can be addressed concurrently and effectively, thereby contributing to materializing a Low Carbon Asian Society;
  4. As far as possible exploit benefits of adopting intelligent transport system (ITS), and of utilizing market mechanisms such as tax credits for environmentally friendly technologies, to make the transport services environment and people friendly, cost effective as well as energy efficient;
  5. Develop city partnerships and collaboration across national boundaries within Asia and between Asian cities and cities from other regions for mutual technical assistance and cooperation on implementing environmentally sound practices in transport sector, including recognition of the special needs of the post conflict countries;
  6. Strengthen regional cooperation, in particular among the international organizations and donors active in the region and member countries, to further improve and deepen the transport agenda at energy efficiency and climate change-related fora, including the Conference of Parties (COP), for achieving low-carbon society and green growth bearing in mind the ultimate objective of reducing global emissions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); and
  7. Request international organizations and donor communities to mobilize necessary capacity building services and financial support to the developing member countries to enable them to overcome the complex technical barriers involved in developing transport projects for taking full benefit of the GHG market under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) stipulated by Kyoto Protocol.

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