This June, transportation and environment ministers and senior delegates from 11 Latin-American countries met for the first ever Sustainable Transport Forum for Latin America (FTS) in Bogotá, Colombia. The forum’s participants adopted the “Bogotá Declaration for Sustainable Transport.” This document contains voluntary agreements for regional coordination and cooperation between these countries and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) as well as other partners. It also pledges support for 23 strategies to develop more sustainable passenger and freight transportation. This declaration will be an important input to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012 and complements a similar Bangkok Declaration on Sustainable Transport adopted by 23 Asian nations in August 2010.
The meeting succeeded in creating strong support for a new consultative process that will help mainstream sustainable transportation into the planning and policy making of Latin American countries, and creates pathways for enhanced cooperation between transport and environmental ministries. The FTS was the first step towards linking together these ministers and other key transportation decision makers to share best practices and discuss emerging issues around sustainable transportation policy and technology.
Colombian Minister of Transport, Germán Cardona, opened the meeting and presented measures that Colombia has taken to increase passenger safety, improve the vehicle fleet, and promote public transport. Each country’s delegate also presented key issues relevant to cities and national economies, some common themes included the expansion of rail freight transport networks, road safety, vehicle fleet standards, and urban transport policies and investments. Some of them most noteworthy presentations included Mexico’s ambitious national program for bus rapid transit expansion that will bring 18 new BRT systems online in coming years, Venezuela’s urban rail and pedestrian programs, and Argentina’s proposals for potential Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions within their transport sector for the next round of UNFCC Climate Change negotiations, as well as Colombia’s recent success in increasing freight efficiency through regulatory reform.
Michael Replogle, Global Policy Director of ITDP, helped draft the Bogotá Declaration and presented delegates with a cost-benefit analysis of transport sector policies and investments, highlighting the positive economic, social, and environmental externalities of sustainable transport strategies in developing economies. Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IADB concluded the forum’s presentations by confirming the IADB’s strong commitment to developing sustainable transport in Latin America. The presentations (mostly in Spanish only) are available here.
The two-day forum was organized by the IADB, the Ministries of Transport and the Environment for Colombia, and the United Nations Center for Regional Development with support from ITDP, the Partnership for Sustainable Low Carbon Transport and Embarq. The next national ministerial meetings of the Forum will take place in Asunción, Paraguay, in late September 2013, with a city-level meeting of mayors planned for Mexico City in early October 2012.
For more information see: https://www.uncrdlac.org/fts/