Jay Owen Sustainability News

Regional EST Forum Bulletin

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in collaboration with the
UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and the European Commission (EC)

Volume 210 Number 1 – Sunday, 28 April 2013


23-25 APRIL 2013

The Seventh Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia along with the Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, took place 23-25 April 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. The integrated meeting was organized by the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), Japan’s Ministry of Environment (MoE), and Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Transportation (MoT).

The meeting addressed a variety of strategies related to environmentally sustainable transport. On the final day of the integrated meeting delegates adopted the “Bali Declaration on Vision Three Zeros: Zero Congestion, Zero Pollution and Zero Accidents towards Next Generation Transport Systems in Asia.”

The EST Forum took place over the first two days and addressed: regional connectivity; integration of public transport modes; building climate-change resilient transport infrastructure and services; green freight; non-motorized transport; road safety and social equity; railway development; financing next generation sustainable transport systems; institutional arrangements; and intelligent transport systems. The third day was dedicated to the Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

More than 600 participants attended the Forum, including government representatives from 24 Asian and other countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam. Other participants included expert organizations in transport, representatives from various UN and other international organizations, scientific research organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the private and business sector as well as local observer organizations. Several pre- and post-events also occurred, including: the Indonesian EST Forum; Enhancing Urban Walkability;  a workshop on Aviation and Climate Change; and Training on Sustainable Transport and Climate Change.


In 2004, the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and Ministry of the Environment, Japan, launched the Asian Environmentally Sustainable (EST) Initiative. Since 2005, meetings of the Regional EST Forum in Asia have been organized to address multi-sectoral, socio-economic and environmental issues in the transport sector, including climate concerns. The Forum facilitates high-level policy dialogues on EST issues; provides a strategic/knowledge platform for sharing experiences and disseminating EST-related best practices, tools, technologies, and policy instruments; and provides a platform for discussion on specific issues of concern through expert group meetings and consultations.

FIRST MEETING OF THE REGIONAL EST FORUM IN ASIA: The inaugural meeting was held on 1-2 August 2005 in Nagoya, Japan, under the framework of the “International Conference on Environment and Transport” in Aichi, Japan. The Regional EST Forum in Asia was initiated in line with decisions from the 2004 “Manila Policy Dialogue on Environment & Transport in the Asian Region,” held in Manila, the Philippines. The resulting 2004 Manila Statement urged Asian countries to: formulate National EST Strategies-Action Plans and establish the Regional EST Forum in Asia and subsidiary expert groups. The objectives of the first meeting were to launch the Forum by adopting the Aichi Statement; provide guidance and facilitate information exchange to promote EST in Asia through national EST strategy formulation; and explore potential EST networking and partnerships through regional and international initiatives. The meeting included 12 thematic sessions, country presentations, and the adoption of the Aichi Statement.

SECOND MEETING OF THE REGIONAL EST FORUM IN ASIA: The second Regional EST meeting was held on 11-12 December 2006 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Meeting objectives included: policy dialogue and sharing of best practices in the areas of urban environment and transport; following up on implementation of the Aichi Statement; introducing the concept of EST Performance Indicators under the overall framework of the EST Initiative; and discussing the modalities for a Mayors’ Dialogue on EST, which was held the following year in April 2007 in Kyoto, Japan.

THIRD MEETING OF THE REGIONAL EST FORUM IN ASIA: This meeting was held from 17-19 March 2008 in Singapore. In addition to policy dialogue and information exchange, participants reviewed progress on implementing the Aichi Statement under ten thematic areas as well as progress on the National EST Strategy Formulation supported by UNCRD in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. A special session was held to discuss climate change, EST and co-benefits in view of emerging international concern on global warming.

FOURTH MEETING OF THE REGIONAL EST FORUM IN ASIA: The meeting was held from 24-26 February 2009 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. In addition to information exchange and updates on actions under the Aichi Statement, discussions focused on how Asian countries can take a more active role in climate change mitigation through EST measures. Delegates adopted the Seoul Statement, which, inter alia, calls upon participants to: address transport issues to encompass the transport-energy-carbon emission nexus; develop strategies for low-carbon transport; focus on sustainable mobility and transport demand management tools and measures, including non-motorized transport; exploit benefits of adopting intelligent transport systems ; and develop partnerships and collaboration across national boundaries within and between  Asian cities and cities from other regions for mutual technical assistance and cooperation.

FIFTH MEETING OF THE REGIONAL EST FORUM IN ASIA: The meeting convened from 23-25 August 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand. Objectives for the meeting included: contributing to improved understanding and strengthened regional consensus regarding sustainable policy options and measures that promote sustainable and low-carbon-transport; addressing and identifying opportunities for collaborative actions and partnerships; illustrating innovative initiatives, achievements and good practices in five thematic areas; facilitating international cooperation for capacity building activities; and enhancing regional input to CSD-19 regarding policy options and recommendations through the adoption of the “Bangkok 2020 Declaration – Towards a New Decade for Sustainable Transport in Asia.” Delegates to the 5th Regional EST Forum adopted the Bangkok 2020 Declaration, which established 20 goals under a four-pronged strategy framework: avoid unnecessary travel and reduce trip distances; shift to more sustainable transport modes; improve transport practices and technologies; and cross-cutting strategies.

SIX MEETING OF THE REGIONAL EST FORUM IN ASIA: This meeting was held from 4 – 6 December 2011 in New Delhi, India, as an integrated conference on sustainable mobility in conjunction with the “Urban Mobility India 2011 Conference and Exhibition.” Objectives included, inter alia: reviewing progress on the goals of the Bangkok 2020 Declaration; addressing and identifying challenges and opportunities for transport NAMAs (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action) for climate mitigation and co-benefits; and contributing towards enhanced regional input to Rio+20 by addressing EST vis-à-vis the Bangkok 2020 Declaration and the context of a green economy.


OPENING STATEMENTSOn Tuesday morning, 23 April, traditional Balinese music and dance welcomed participants to the venue. Dewa Puni Asa, Director of Transportation, Information and Communications Affairs, Bali Provincial Administration, welcomed the delegates on behalf of Made Mangku Pastika, Governor of Bali, informing them that Bali is known as the island of gods, the island of paradise, the island of peace, and the island of love. He highlighted the need for participants to commit to the Vision Three Zeros: Zero Congestion, Zero Pollution, Zero Accidents (Vision3Z), and hoped that the meeting would produce solutions to heal the world through inspiration from Bali.

Noting that the Forum is the first one following Rio+20, Chikako Takase, Director, UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), underscored participants’ responsibility to translate the decision of world leaders taken in Rio into action, policies and measures, including the effective implementation of the Bangkok 2020 Declaration, adopted at the 5th Regional EST Forum in 2010, and which established 20 goals for sustainable transport in Asia. She said the Rio+20 Outcomes provide a framework and opportunities for environmentally protective, economically efficient and socially inclusive programmes and measures leading to sustainable transport systems and services. She noted that Asian countries are well placed to implement sustainable transport measures and that the Forum has helped inspire similar efforts elsewhere, including Latin America and Africa.

Ejii Hiraoka, Councillor, Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, observed that the scale of the Forum has expanded each year since the first meeting in Nagoya, Japan, in 2005. He said air and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from soaring vehicle ownership and usage is causing concern for human health and ecosystems and that failure to act may cause great suffering for future generations.

Balthasar Kambuaya, MoE -Indonesia, shared information about Indonesia’s efforts to create more sustainable and liveable cities, including several clean air pilot projects with smaller cities. He stressed the linkages between sustainable transport and clean energy programs, and between multi-modal transport and land use planning.

Thomas Hamlin, Technical Adviser, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), presented a special address, on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, which addressed, inter alia: transport as a building block for sustainable development; better transport planning and linkages in urban and rural areas; and safer and more environmentally-friendly transport to reduce vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters. He welcomed discussions on next-generation transport systems for the 21st century.

E.E. Mangindaan, the Indonesian Minister of Transportation, highlighted the Bangkok 2020 Declaration and the Rio+20 Outcomes as supportive documents for realizing EST in Asia. He emphasized the need for: funding and supportive policy; cooperation among countries and organizations and the sharing of expertise and experience; and to realize Vision3Z.

After his remarks, ministers were welcomed on stage for the ringing of the gong to officially open the meeting.


On Tuesday morning, Michael Replogle, Managing Director for Policy and Founder, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), emphasized that current transport planning decisions will influence future wellbeing and economic growth, and affect climate change. He stressed the need for political courage, institutional capacity and legal authority to “realize the dream of EST.”

Introducing Vision3Z, he stated that it encompasses, inter alia: the need for safe, clean and affordable transport alternatives; reduction of fossil fuel subsidies; supportive regulations for cleaner, lighter and more efficient public transport; street planning that accommodates all mobility methods; better integration of urban and transport planning; safety improvements, including on rural highways; a freight plan; equity and access for poor and disabled persons and safety and security considerations for women and children.

He stressed the need to move beyond just exploring new technology options to implement existing technology and policy changes. Replogle noted that while many challenges remain, progress is being made, citing examples of bus rapid transit in Latin America and Asia, safety policies in Sweden, cleaner tailpipe emission standards in the United States, and congestion-reduction efforts in Singapore. 

On Wednesday morning, Masashi Mori, Mayor of Toyama, Japan, shared his city’s compact city strategy premised on renovation of public transport and building an attractive quality of life. The city’s core project to improve public transport is based on three pillars: modern public transport; encouraging citizens to live near public transport; and revitalizing city centers. He shared examples of ongoing projects, inter alia: the construction of the Tlyama light rail, the largest in Japan; policies and subsidies to encourage citizens to rent or purchase near public transport; revitalizing central districts, such as the Grand Plaza; bike sharing schemes; and offering transport passes to encourage senior citizen mobility. In 2012, Toyama was one of five cities recognized in an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report on compact city policies, together with Melbourne, Vancouver, Paris and Portland.


Dana Kartakusam, Assistant Minister, MoE-Indonesia, chaired the session on Tuesday morning, which was facilitated by Cornie Huizenga, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT).

PRESENTATION: Introducing the background paper on how EST can contribute to the Rio+20 outcomes, Huizenga explained that the 20 goals included in the Bangkok Declaration are very much in line with sustainable transport goals set out in the Rio+20 Outcome document and noted that implementing the Bangkok Declaration will also make important contributions to urban and rural development, health, employment and trade. He called the Vision3Z a succinct summary message and good communication strategy that fits in with the Declaration and Rio+20 Outcome document. Huizenga said the EST Regional Forum works in two ways: passing on country priorities to the global discussion on transport and examining how to implement the global message at the country level.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Huizenga invited panelists to address: how Asian countries can strengthen their EST policies, programmes and institutions at the local level to meet the goals of Rio+20; why Vision3Z should be of relevance to Asian countries; and how effectively the goals of Bangkok 2020 will complement sustainable transport in the future.

M.A.N. Siddique, Secretary, Roads Division, Ministry of Communication (MoC), Bangladesh, noted that implementation of the Vision3Z will be complicated given the many cross-cutting issues involved. Wendy Aritenang, Environmental Expert Staff, MoT-Indonesia, stressed the importance of accessibility to transport and said that reliability was a precondition to supporting Vision3Z. Tyrrell Duncan, Director, Transport, East Asia Department and Practice Leader, Asian Development Bank (ADB), noted that political leaders, who are pressured to achieve quick results may be tempted to stick to existing approaches to transport. He said grant financing is needed to demonstrate to policy makers that different types of investment will work. He also stressed the need to support an international high-level EST group.

Michael Replogle, ITDP, suggested evaluating how well transport projects already in the pipeline link to EST outcomes and whether they can be redesigned to better advance sustainable development. He also proposed strengthening measures to encourage countries to annually evaluate progress on meeting goals, including more incentives tying funding to performance. Thomas Hamlin, UN DESA, highlighted the value of bringing together ministers from health, transport, and environment, and said that articulation of benefits such as poverty alleviation and health can make a stronger “business case” for EST.

In the ensuing discussion on budget constraints, Replogle said recent studies show that pursuing sustainable transport strategies can reduce long-term costs, for example, integrated traffic management systems, road improvements, and parking management can reduce new road requirements and better support local economies. Regarding sustainable transport issues in highly populated cities, Siddique suggested that each city or country could set its own milestones. Duncan said examples in South America have demonstrated that outreach to relevant stakeholders can convince people that proposed sustainable solutions will work. In response to a suggestion that “Zero Corruption” should be part of the framework, Siddique said reduction of corruption could help support the Vision3Zgoals, citing Singapore as an example. Huizenga concluded that delegates appeared willing to embrace the concept of Vision3Zs to guide future EST work in Asia. In closing, Kartakusam said the outcome of the Forum will provide good input to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) as a follow-up to the upcoming report from the High-Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda.


On Tuesday morning, Kinley Dorji, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Bhutan, chaired the session, and Peter O’Neill, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) served as session facilitator.

PRESENTATION: O’Neill introduced session,  highlighting the need for a multimodal transport system for both human and freight transport, noting that regional connectivity has different meanings for different geographies, such as land-locked countries versus island archipelagos. Madan Regmi, UN ESCAP, presented the session’s background paper on regional connectivity (intra-region/rural-urban linkage) for sustainable development. Stating that connectivity is very much on the Asian agenda, he addressed several issues, including the growth in Trans-Asian railways, cross border transport, trade, and connecting megacities by high-speed rail.

PANEL DISCUSSION: O’Neill asked the panelists how to strengthen transport connectivity in Asian countries. Tyrrell Duncan, ADB, highlighted the challenge landlocked countries face of gaining access to ports. He noted that bottlenecks arise not from “hardware” or building transportation infrastructure, but instead with the “software,” for example, developing regional cross-border transport plans or connecting modes of transport. Song Su, China Academy of Transportation Sciences, MoT-China, identified institutional gaps, citing the Chinese Ministry of Transport’s lack of inner-city jurisdiction resulting in railway stations and highways being built far apart. This situation has improved, she noted, stating that better intra-transport authorities for transport ministries can facilitate a more comprehensive strategy.

Milko Papazoff, International Union of Railways (UIC) and representative for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), expressed support for developing rail linkages between Asian countries, as well as for the increase in high-speed rail between cities. He noted, however, that not all countries can afford high-speed rail and could instead focus on ‘reasonable-speed’ rail,underlining that speed is an incentive for opting for rail transport. Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), India, stressed the need for better institutional structures to implement regional connectivity networks, noting financial, policy and capacity deficits. Ildefonso Patdu, Assistant Secretary, Department of Transportation, the Philippines, identified the specific challenges of improving regional connectivity in archipelagoes, stressing the need for integrated transport solutions, including ports, roads and rail as well as regional cooperation networks. 

In the ensuing discussion, delegates noted historic transport links between Asian countries and regions and the need for regional and sub-regional agreements to improve regional connectivity. They also discussed how to ensure the rights of people displaced by large-scale infrastructure projects, including through laws, policies and other approaches.


Sommad Pholsena, Minister, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Lao-PDR, chaired the session on Tuesday afternoon.

PRESENTATIONS: Manfred Breithaupt, German International Cooperation (GIZ), presented the background paper on the importance of transit alliances to achieving effective public transport, noting that in Germany, ridership of one public system increased three-to-four fold after integration of multiple modes of transport. Breithaupt said that in transit alliances, individual operators still retain the same legal responsibilities, but the managing organization coordinates transport services, simplifying ticketing and transfer between different modes for passengers by establishing one network, one timetable, and one tariff.

Simon K. W. Ng, Civic Exchange, shared Hong Kong’s experience with integrated multi-modal public transport, noting that Hong Kong is working to integrate information and fare collection by using different platforms such as mobile phones. He highlighted advances in integrating transport with land-use planning, citing the increasing number of commercial and residential developments adjacent to and on top of rail stations, and noted that Hong Kong is continuing to work on a number of improvements, including improved universal access and more options for non-motorized transport (NMT).

Ir. Joni Malisan, Research and Development Agency, MoT-Indonesia, spoke about inter-modal integration in Indonesia. He highlighted the importance of developing a locally integrated transport system, with the potential for optimized integration of rail and sea transport, noting that existing roads in some areas will not be able to meet expected future loads of passengers and goods.

Hans Ulrich Fuhrke, GIZ, presented on next generation transport solutions, urban liveability and public space. Reviewing the pros and cons of NMT, public transport, and private vehicles, he said public transport needed to outcompete the draw of private vehicles by being more fun, cheaper, faster, and more accessible. He outlined a vision of a dense, connected urban structure where the public sphere was free of private fuel-driven vehicles with a network of stations no further than a 10-minute walk from any point in the community. He also described an innovative “ever-changing” front-and-tail train system that could double existing transit speeds by reducing the exchange time at each station.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Roland Haas, ASEAN-GIZ, facilitated the panel discussion that focused on policy and institutional challenges in implementing multi-modal transport. Panelists: identified the need to empower local governments to contract with the private sector for technological solutions; cited the importance of coordination between different ministries within a country, including knowledge sharing; suggested increased integration between land use and public transportation; and noted the need for political will to address barriers to full integration.


M.A.N. Siddique, MoC-Bangladesh, chaired the Tuesday afternoon session and Holger Dalkmann, Director, EMBARQ, facilitated the debate.

PRESENTATIONS: Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Nagoya University, presented the background paper.on building resilient cities and community through EST measures (policies, programmes and infrastructure). He discussed the link between resilience, global warming, disasters and societal vulnerabilities, stressing the need to connect resilience to sustainability and quality of life. Using the example of the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011, he stated that investments in more resilient infrastructure can pay off, highlighting that regional high speed rail recovered in about one month and did not suffer from any crashes, while local railways were slower to recover. He stressed the need to better integrate land use planning and infrastructure, including improved coordination and smart growth. Hayashi also noted current demographic changes, such as suburbanization, an aging society and shifts in traditional nuclear families, and reflected on how these changes have weakened social ties, including during disasters. He said the concept of building resilience must include social as well as technical considerations.

Yoshitaka Motoda, Iwate Prefectural University, presented on efficient transportation systems and disaster recovery, noting lessons learned from the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. Motoda recollected that in the aftermath, in many areas almost all infrastructure, including roads, were destroyed with debris strewn everywhere. Transport routes were re-opened in a stepped progression and they learned to better enforce certain infrastructure, such as bridges or improved sea walls.

Djoko Sasono, Director General of Land Transportation, MoT-Indonesia, drew attention to the fact that Indonesia lies in a “ring of fire” and, therefore, needs to prepare for natural disasters. Sasono said that Indonesia has set up a national agency for disaster management which coordinates with other institutions at national, provincial and local levels, while aiming to reduce loss of life, rehabilitate impacted areas, and coordinate and facilitate resources needed, including from the international community. He indicated there is also a role for the transport sector, including preparing facilities, supporting mobility of aid, installing emergency road signs and distributing food.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ, led the panel discussion, which included audience inquiries on financing schemes. Hayashi suggested exploring the co-benefits of disaster planning, as well as specific funding such as the UN Framework on Climate Change Convention’s Green Climate Fund. Motoda emphasized the need to confer costs and benefits of disaster planning. Md. Shahjahan, Director, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Bangladesh, highlighted the importance of disaster response plans, early warning systems and designated multipurpose buildings that can double as disaster shelters. Chutinthorn Praditphet, MoT-Thailand, stressed the need for capacity building and communicating with local communities.

Dalkmann closed the session with several observations based on lessons learned in Japan and Indonesia, including the need for: better planning, including land use and transport planning; investments in better engineering, such as reinforced bridges; and disaster management planning.


Budi Prayitno, Deputy Director for International Cooperation, MoT-Indonesia chaired the Tuesday afternoon session.

PRESENTATIONS: Sophie Punte, Executive Director, Clean Air Asia (CAA), presented the background paper on a policy and institutional framework for a regional agreement on green freight. She identified three primary drivers for green freight: environmental and social impacts, logistics costs in developing countries, and market pressures for greener products and services. She described the core elements of a potential framework, including inter alia: national or sub-regional green freight programmes; plans, policies and regulations; a standard set of indicators; and a regional collaboration framework. She said common standards could help create a more level playing field and result in increased trade. She called for voluntary “champions” to move the concept forward, including agreeing on a process for further consultation and development.

Elly Sinaga, Secretary of Research &Development Agency, MoT- Indonesia, spoke about Indonesia’s efforts to address sustainable freight transport. She said existing infrastructure exacerbates logistics costs, with shipping in Indonesia costing more than twice that of Thailand or Malaysia. She noted, however, that the existing paradigm is still focused on road development with increasing motorization. She described an ideal one-stop service involving a single operator, single tariff and single document for cargo transport.

Simon K. W. Ng, Civic Exchange, presented on green ports and shipping in Asia. He said that while shipping may be a more efficient mode for moving freight, it isn’t necessarily greener, noting that most ships burn high-sulfur fuel, resulting in high levels of “dirty” emissions and related health impacts in areas near container terminals. He proposed that “greening” ships and harbors could be accomplished by focusing on science, public awareness raising and engagement, voluntary industry-led initiatives, and regulation.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Peter O’Neill, UN ESCAP, facilitated the discussion and asked panelists to address how to move forward with a green freight agreement. Discussion points included, inter alia: the need to engage the private sector by explaining the benefits of an agreement or through incentives; public subsidies of road transport makes maritime shipping not as economically competitive; and land transport can be made more efficient through driver training. Chair Punte recalled agreements reached during previous EST fora on green freight and suggested that international organizations could support capacity building, finance, logistics, and infrastructure in a more coordinated approach.


Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, MoUD-India, chaired the session on Tuesday afternoon and Roelof Wittink, Dutch Cycling Embassy, facilitated the discussion.

PRESENTATION: Wittink presented the background paper on NMT. He highlighted the need for both national and local cycling policies, in particular urban policies, emphasizing that cycling should not be a standalone policy but an element of a larger mobility transition. According to Wittink, national and local cycling policy should have a number of key components: a vision on city life and universal access; objectives and the way to reach identified targets, including responsibility and accountability to guide actions; participatory policy development; projects, pilots, demonstration and research; and instruments for planning and design.

Youngkook Kim, Korea Transport Policy Institute (KOTI), indicated that for the last ten years, the Republic of Korea has focused on human and environmentally-friendly transport, for example Seoul has 25 subway lines. He referred to several ongoing strategies including an emphasis on walkable and bikeable arterials, bus-only streets, inclusion of green spaces, traffic calming, and incorporating speed controls. He pointed to the need to combine slow and speedy transport, such as bikes with high-speed rail.

PANEL DISCUSSION: The panel discussed why Asian cities should include NMT. Sher Alam Mahsud, Secretary, Environmental Protection Department, Pakistan, stated that NMT should be one part of the policy package to achieve the goal of zero emissions. Marie Thynell, Gothenburg University, emphasized that NMT can lead to improved equity and accessibility to transport. Delegates discussed the need to investigate where public money is invested in transport projects, noting comparisons between road investments versus investments in cycle paths as well as how to improve related infrastructure, such as bicycle parking. Wittink suggested raising car parking fees and reinvesting this money in bicycle parking infrastructure. Hong Sinara, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Cambodia, suggested implementing bicycle lanes in tourist zones and then expanding these projects. Bronwen Thorton, Development Director, Walk21, referred to walkability as underpinning any transport system, including walking to public transport.

Viengsavath Siphandone, Director General, Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MoPWT), Lao-PDR, reflected that cycling and walking were important traditional transport methods and that people have forgotten these methods, and that better investments could perhaps facilitate their return. Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, MoT-Vietnam, indicated that two new departments within the ministry are focusing on environment and safety, reflecting that perhaps another department should focus on NMT. Chair Kumar Lohia closed the session, encouraging delegates to look beyond the challenges to what has been done, quoting Youngkook Kim of KOTI about the need to move from vicious to virtuous transport cycles.


This Wednesday morning session was chaired by Rohana Kumara Dissanayake, Deputy Minister, MoT-Sri Lanka, with discussions facilitated by Milko Papazoff, UIC representative for ASEAN.

PRESENTATIONS: Milko Papazoff presented the background paper on inclusion of railways in EST.  Noting trends of rapid urbanization, Papazoff stated that railways are more resource efficient, produce fewer carbon emissions, require less space, and reduce congestion while providing social and economic benefits. Highlighting UIC’s Sustainability Declaration, he provided several recommendations, including: endorsing shifts towards rail and sustainable transport; strengthening institutional arrangements; financial support; endorsing and rewarding ambitious actions; and adopting targets and indicators. Papazoff emphasized that intermodal transport provides environmental, economic, and social benefits for passengers and transport operators.

Tsutomu Yamato, Tokyo Metro, Japan, described efforts to: become an earth-friendly metro for global environmental protection; stabilize energy provision with regards to persistent power shortages following the Great Eastern Japan earthquake; and to reduce the metro’s electricity consumption. In addition to metro vehicles, Yamoto noted photovoltaics are incorporated on top of metro stations.

Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, MoUD-India, presented the Indian Railways Vision 2020, which includes, inter alia: leapfrogging to a higher growth trajectory; increasing freight without congestion; network expansion; capacity creation; zero tolerance for accidents; dedicated freight corridors; reducing the rail system’s carbon footprint; and goals for increasing electrification. Lohia observed that Indian Railways is also exploring green initiatives, such as alternative fuels, bio-toilets, non-conventional energy sources and energy production.

Hanggoro Budi Wiryawan, Directorate General of Railways, MoT-Indonesia, presented Vision 2025 on the development of Indonesian Railways. Wiryawan said that current railway developments emphasize Indonesia’s economic corridors, while linking up to seaports and airports. Mentioning high dependence on private transport vehicles, Wiryawan stated ambitions to increase capacity and ridership of rail between 200 to 300% by 2030.

PANEL DISCUSSION: The panel talked over issues related to train infrastructure, and passenger and goods movement, as well as incorporating renewable energy and electrification. Song Su, MoT-China, remarked that urban congestion is not limited to road congestion, but should include congestion in the metro system and urban rail. Delegates reflected on allocation of subsides and how to create incentives to increase rail use, notably in urban areas. Wiryawan suggested public-private partnerships (PPPs) for rail investments, as well as loans and support from donor organizations.


The session was chaired by Ildefonso T. Patdu Jr., Assistant Secretary, Department of Transportion and Communication, -the Philippines on Wednesday morning.

PRESENTATION: Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ, presented the background document on financing need for next generation sustainable transport systems. He observed that road congestion currently costs Asian economies 2-5% of their GDP and is expected to rise with increased urbanization and motorization. He said the commitment by multilateral development banks (MDBs) to invest $1.75 billion in sustainable transport over the next decade presents an opportunity for countries to set the right framework and targets for investment. He identified two pillars for national government involvement: increasing financing effectiveness and leveraging sustainable transport financing.

He outlined six key actions: developing national policy programmes that implement domestic and international climate finance; engaging the private sector with supportive conditions for investment; using local funding and innovative sustained financing; enabling institutional arrangements to streamline funding to local levels; monitoring and evaluation; and capacity building and policy guidance. Dalkmann emphasized the Forum’s role in enabling international cooperation to advance the sustainable transport agenda and suggested developing a monitoring framework based on the Bangkok 2020 Declaration.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Jamie Leather, ADB, facilitated the panel discussion and invited panelists to address the importance of government financing. Michael Replogle, ITDP, said that transformation needs to come from integrated approaches, and supported better monitoring and reporting to identify potential system reorganization for higher performance. Manfred Breithaupt, GIZ suggested looking at European legislation as a model for transport development and highlighted the need to link national urban policy and sustainable transport financing.

Sanjeev Kumar Lohia MoUD-India, said projects require high initial investments but the benefits are only realized over a long time frame. He thereby highlighted the need for continued PPP financing. Wendy Aritenang, MoT-Indonesia, noted that some transport projects were based on old standards that did not anticipate having to address climate change impacts, making implementation more expensive. Tawia Addo-Ashong, World Bank (WB): stressed the potential use of incentives to reach sustainable transport goals; acknowledged that shifts in approach may have unintended social impacts (e.g., larger buses may result in loss of income for individual taxi drivers); and said the WB can help provide knowledge from other regions to inform the work of the EST Forum.

Tyrrell Duncan, ADB: said that the focus needed to be on changing priorities to encourage good practices as opposed to expecting governments to expand funding; observed that ministers don’t like to raise taxes; agreed that transport needed to receive more climate financing; and suggested that the EST Forum could provide input on the importance of sustainable transport to the Secretary General’s High-Level Group. Additional discussion points, including input from the floor, considered the role of climate change financing and the potential for GEF6 funds for sustainable transport.


This session was chaired by Song Su, MoT-China on Wednesday morning, with discussions facilitated by Rob Pearce, International Association of Public Transport (UITP), Australia-New Zealand office.

PRESENTATION:  Pearce presented a background paper on transport trends in Asia and EST policy frameworks and principles to guide institutional arrangements, with a focus on issues of integration and localization. Noting trends such as rapid urbanization, a declining public transport modal share, and increasing GHGs and congestion, he referenced the Rio+20 Outcomes and the Bangkok Declaration which offer guidance for EST implementation. He listed several principles for a “robust, clear and transparent transportation framework,” including: vertical integration; horizontal integration; transport and land-use planning; overall policy integration; contracting and private sector involvement; adequate skills; sustainable and innovative funding; and ensuring good data. He stressed that there is no “one size fits all” solution and that institutional arrangements need to be adapted with respect to regional and institutional settings.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Cornie Huizenga, SLoCaT, noted several additional issues, including that institutional arrangements are ultimately a political issue, and that public and private transport need to move beyond their “mutual distrust” and work together, especially since much of the public transport is provided by the informal sector in many countries. He also said institutional mandates need to be linked to budget mandates. Sanjivii Sundar, TERI University, emphasized that institutions are more than organizations, as they include financing, frameworks, policies, and regulations. He encouraged development of an integrated transport authority from the national to local level, as well as the need for capacity building and changing mindsets, the latter of which has traditionally emphasized car transport and road development.

Delegates discussed: challenges faced by dense older cities; how to facilitate vertical and horizontal integration; coordination of EST; and platforms for sharing best practices and procedures. Huizenga gave examples of African and Latin American cities (e.g., Lagos and Bogotá) that face similar problems, but have initiated effective EST policies. He encouraged delegates to promote footpaths and bicycle ways, even in dense developments, as a demonstration of political willingness. Sundar stressed the urgency of adopting EST strategies, even within the existing system and leadership. Pearce concluded that challenges exist, but demonstrations can facilitate political buy-in.


On Wednesday afternoon, Chair Adnan Ali, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transport & Communication, Maldives, opened the session.

PRESENTATION: Takayuki Ito, Nagoya Institute of Technology, gave the background paper on Intelligent Transport System (ITS). He explained that ITS uses computational models for human intelligence with the principle that group decisions can be superior to individual ones. Ito said that specific examples of this approach in the EST context include autonomous and adaptive cruise control, integrating transportation systems with smart devices, and using smart phone integration to provide traffic alerts. He stressed that the right incentives have to be created to encourage the use of ITS.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Alexis Kai-Hon Lau, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, facilitated the panel discussion. Takahiko Uchimura, ITS- Japan, gave a short presentation on the ITS experience in Japan. He described how several sensor-based projects that inform drivers about approaching stoplights or congestion helped reduce speed and avoid rear-end collisions. He also said reductions in travel time and, therefore, GHG emissions could be achieved by probing GPS and phone data to provide real-time route guides to drivers.

Suhono Harso Supangkat, Institute Technology of Bandung, spoke about research on ITS use in vehicle routing and emergency systems. Teerapong Rodprasert, Deputy Permanent Secretary, MoT-Thailand, said Bangkok had installed a lot of intelligent equipment and has identified the need to improve road user behavior as a key challenge. Jamie Leather, ADB, described how the development of ITS in a city to address crime, public safety and flood response, subsequently used the existing control center to install signalized junctions to more effectively manage traffic flow. Panelists then: asked how best to promote ITS in Asian countries; identified the need for collaboration among multiple municipalities; and suggested that technology could provide policy monitoring (e.g., direct data provision services in lieu of traffic surveys).

In response to questions and comments from country delegates and participants, the panelists discussed: the need for active involvement at high levels; availability of a WB ITS toolkit; joint use of ITS and NMTs, for example with bicycle-activated signals; acknowledgement that back-up maintenance and technical expertise will be important issues for least developed countries; the potential to make inclusion of ITS mandatory for LDC transport funding; and concerns about creating more electronic waste.


BANGKOK DECLARATION & SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT GOALS: On Wednesday afternoon, four parallel breakout groups, with five to six countries represented in each group, met to review progress and discuss challenges related to sustainable transport goals under the Bangkok 2020 Declaration. Delegates gathered in plenary later in the afternoon to hear reports from each group.

Group 1 was chaired by Viengsavath Siphandone, Director General, MoPWT, Lao-PDR, and facilitated by Sophie Punte; Group 2’s Chair was Joudat Ayaz, Joint Secretary, MoC-Pakistan and Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty, UNCRD, served as Facilitator; Abdulla Muththalib, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure, Maldives chaired Group 3 with Sanjivi Sundar, TERI, serving as Facilitator; and Rohana Kumara Dissanayake Deputy Minister, MoT-Sri Lanka chaired Group 4 with Manfred Breithaupt, GIZ, as Facilitator.

Elly Sinaga, MoT-Indonesia, chaired the plenary session.

GROUP 1: Facilitator Sophie Punte, CAA, and Rapporteur Simon Ka Wing Ng, Civic Exchange, reported to the plenary. They noted that the countries in the group were at different stages with sustainable transport and faced different challenges, and that many had plans in place addressing land transport, land-use, NMTs, and air quality. Regarding green shipping, they noted that one country is setting standards and developing a phase-out plan for trucks and vessels. They highlighted challenges, including: translating good ideas from the international to national legislative level; the complexity of multiple institutions involved in transport; and the need for more resources. One specific recommendation from Group 1 was write-ups of successful examples.

GROUP 2: Rapporteur Carlosfelipe Pardo, Despacio, reviewed achievements using the Avoid-Shift-Improve framework of the Bangkok 2020 Declaration. He explained that strategies to “avoid” unnecessary travel or reduce trip distance included development of master plans to integrate land use and transportation, and that challenges included financing, data gathering and availability, existing land use regulations and persistent ways of thinking. On challenges associated with “shifting “to more sustainable transport modes, he highlighted the slow pace of change. On strategies to “improve” transport practices and technology, he said the group discussed use of a green tax, the difficulty of obtaining high-quality “greener” fuels, and the challenge of funding availability. Some crosscutting strategies included awareness raising and use of PPPs for alternative financial strategies. Challenges included limits to local knowledge and capacity, and current trends for accidents and motorization.

GROUP 3: Madhav Pai, EMBARQ, reported on progress in the following areas: developing transit malls; enhanced cycling environment; transit-oriented corridors; integrated public transport networks; maritime master plan; no-vehicle days; regulations limiting the number of land-based vehicles; vehicular emission controls; development of standards and regulations; and an aggressive road safety strategy.

GROUP 4: Rapporteur Heather Allen, TRF,  ), reported that discussions indicated the EST Forum and Bangkok Declaration helped frame national policy development, identify priorities and challenges for plans, and improve communications across different ministries. Participants identified a variety of strategies under the Avoid-Shift-Improve pillars. Key areas of discussion included inter alia: improvements to public transport and mass transit; the need to address inspection and maintenance needs; financing; NMTs, and alternative energies. Allen described several examples of successes: a unified ministry for transport and land use; increased use of electric vehicles; a national master plan with 120 projects; offering bicycles to school children; and walking and pedestrian programs in historical centers. Common issues included increasing motorization and the need for a more integrated approach to transport.


On Wednesday afternoon, three parallel roundtables met to discuss financing sustainable transport in response to post Rio+20 commitments of MDBs. In the last plenary on Wednesday, delegates heard reports from each group. IISD RS covered two of the breakout sessions

Round Table 1: M. A. N. Siddique, MoC-Bangladesh, chaired the roundtable, facilitated by Jaime Leather, ADB. Leather indicated that ADB provides infrastructure assistance, with an increased focus on rail and urban transport. With regard to the transport sector, he reflected ADB’s changing position, from transport as a standalone topic to a more integrative approach linked to environmental and health considerations. Stating that ADB prefers to conduct country partnership strategies, he asked delegates about particular EST strategies, noting that ADB has both a lending and grant component for infrastructure and technical assistance.

Delegates said that when seeking financial assistance, they examine conditionality concerns, such as increased debt burden or logistical issues that may lead to a project’s delay, sometimes prioritizing a PPP approach. The need for capacity building and technical assistance was recognized by several delegates. Leather suggested an additional role that MDBs could play, serving as a “lessons learned vehicle” between countries.

Countries acknowledged specific problems, including persistent air pollution; increased congestion; lack of public transport policies; how to better integrate landlocked countries; and increased challenges facing the transport sector due to climate change. With regards to climate challenges, several countries acknowledged seeking support from the Green Climate Fund, or a blended funding approach. Leather noted increasing complexity regarding modern EST as well as the range of support that can be offered by MDBs, for example, from “big ticket” items, such as a metro, to technical assistance such as the blending of biofuels. He highlighted the need to collaborate among several ministries on a particular topic, but recognized this can be difficult. He suggested further development of South-South cooperation and knowledge transfer as an area that MDBs could support, indicating movement towards a “finance plus-plus” strategy which would include the leverage of other financial sources (such as private sector or the Green Climate Fund) and an increased focus on knowledge.

Round Table 2: Wendy Aritenang, MoT-Indonesia, chaired Round Table 2, which was facilitated by Tyrrell Duncan, ADB. Duncan said the purpose of the session was to gather insights on what needs to be done to utilize MDBs’ $1.75 billion commitment to focus on sustainable transportation over the next decade. He invited the eight countries to identify priority areas for MDB assistance; asked whether borrowing countries were ready to adjust requests to focus more on sustainable transport; asked what other agencies needed to be involved; and wondered whether other enabling conditions were needed, such as policies, legislative aspects or  institutional arrangements to help fully utilize the MDBs’ commitment to financing EST.

Delegates highlighted the importance of rural access to sustainable transport; asked about ground rules for establishing what constituted “sustainable” transport for financing purposes; and identified valuable lessons learned from other countries, including; involvement of all stakeholders; the need for sustainable capacity building; integration of national resources; and international cooperation and risk sharing. Other priorities included the urban transport sector and involvement of high-ranking ministers.


Sam Nuon Khon, Secretary of State and Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment, Cambodia, chaired the session.

ROUND TABLE 1: Rapporteur Marie Thynell, University of Gothenburg, reported that demands and priorities vary in different countries, but a broader need for technical assistance was acknowledged, including on technical, institutional and  infrastructure issues. On soft loans and how to access them, she referred to the complexity of modern EST challenges and the need to work in a more integrated manner.

ROUND TABLE 2: Rapporteur Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ, said that several countries have already been inspired by Rio+20. Delegates identified several priority areas, including institutional challenges and enabling conditions, and setting up a green-growth strategy. Climate finance was helping to move toward a low-carbon transport system in one country. Rural accessibility to transport was a key consideration for another country while urban transport was coming on the agenda elsewhere. One country identified the need to establish a national transport research centre. Other key topic areas were awareness-raising around sustainable transport and requests for technical expertise, technology transfer, better advice on emission standards, and more outreach about MDB commitments and initiatives.

ROUND TABLE 3: Rapporteur Roger Gorham, WB, indicated that discussions considered: transport should be in the service of people; national governments should remain responsible for decisions related to EST; clear recognition of EST and what is requested from MDBs; and a need for MDBs to recognize the difference between needs and capacities. Gorham also noted specific country contexts, acknowledging there is no “one size fits all approach.” Several requests referred to technology transfer at federal and local levels, while others mentioned strengthening institutions and regulations and geographically appropriate solutions, for example, in archipelago versus landlocked countries. According to Gorham, general interest in more interaction with MDBs was expressed.


One of a series of consultation meetings being held in 2013, the Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport was organized around the Regional EST Forum in Asia to engage ministries of environment, health, and transport in considering how sustainable transport can contribute to sustainable development and to consider possible development of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Transport, associated targets and indicators. The meeting took place on Thursday, 25 April 2013.

OPENING STATEMENTS: On Thursday morning, Thomas Hamlin, UN-DESA, opened the meeting on the role of sustainable transport in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He referenced discussions at Rio+20 where open working groups (OWGs) were established to facilitate the upcoming SDGs.  Highlighting that actual negotiations are being conducted within the OWGs, he expressed that the EST Forum could provide timely input to the OWGs.

Wendy Aritenang, MoT -Indonesia, referred to Indonesia’s voluntary GHG reduction target of 26% compared with business as usual, stressing that if provided with adequate international support, a reduction of up to 41% could be achieved. Noting the appointment of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as Co-chair to the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, he expressed his country’s commitment to sustainable transport and the SDGs.

PRESENTATIONS: Michael Replogle spoke about the incorporation of sustainable transport in past global development processes as well as in proposals for the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the discussion on SDGs. He reflected on past processes that acknowledged the role of and development of sustainable transport strategies, including Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Commission on Sustainable Development. He acknowledged the contribution of many stakeholders, which led to the inclusion of transport as a central theme in the Rio+20 Outcome document. He said the document stressed the need for an integrated approach to policy development, locally-appropriate solutions, and acknowledging the need for international support.

Cornie Huizenga presented a background document titled “Post 2015 Development Framework and Transport: a unique opportunity for transformational change” on how sustainable transport and connectivity could be incorporated in the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the SDGs. Lamenting that the MDGs were held back because EST strategies were not given their due priority, Huizenga asked delegates how international processes can accelerate EST efforts. He highlighted the growing awareness of transport to achieve sustainable development, noting transport strategies were given an entire section in the Rio+20 Outcome document and deemed one of 26 priority areas. While there will be a limited number of SDGs connected to these priorities, Huizenga emphasized that there are many justifications for a standalone transport SDG.

Acknowledging that a joint proposal may have a stronger footing, Huizenga suggested transport could be coupled with the energy and water sectors. He explained that within the SDGs, targets could specifically address social, economic and environmental aspects of EST. Stressing that if EST is considered within the SDGs, ministries would have the needed backing; Huizenga underscored the role of discussions held at the Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport and the need for delegates to continue the dialogue.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Facilitator Heather Allen TRF, welcomed the panelists to a discussion on the relevance and consistency of national policies and plans for achieving sustainable transport goals.

Sanjeev Lohia, MoUD–India, said a unified authority for transport was necessary and that urban transport in India encompasses more than 20 agencies, which may often work at cross purposes. Wendy Aritenang, MoT-Indonesia, emphasized the need to convince prime ministers and ministers to prioritize sustainable transport, perhaps by clearly demonstrating the linkage between EST and GDP. M.A.N. Siddique, MoC-Bangladesh, observed that targets for many Asian countries would differ significantly from those for developed countries or other regions. Cosmas Takule, Chief Executive, DAR Rapid Transit, Prime Minister’s Office, Tanzania, agreed, saying that transport modes in his country are largely limited to road and rail; he further emphasized the importance of rural access to transport.

Some delegates expressed concern about the feasibility and high investment cost of the draft targets, especially regarding GHG emission reductions. Huizenga commented that some countries have been able expand development while also reducing GHG emissions, while the Dutch Cycling Embassy said that cycling and walking can actually save money.

Suggestions from delegates about how to move forward the concept of a SDG for transport included:

  • limiting the number of goals so they are easy to understand, monitor and assess;
  • ensuring that goals are evidence-based, scientifically sound and achievable;
  • marrying an SDG on transport to other goals such as water, health or sanitation;
  • clarifying whether indicators supporting the goals would be mandatory;
  • taking into account the different levels or status of governments;
  • feeding results from these meetings to regional commissions and meetings of high-level ministers;
  • increasing public awareness to influence governmental action, including through use of social media; and
  • using regional ESTs as a mechanism to work through operational challenges of implementing sustainable transport goals in different parts of the world.

Huizenga suggested participants promote the concept of sustainable transport with their individual UN missions and consider whether an SDG should be on transport or perhaps transport and energy. In closing the session, Allen said the tendency is to focus on barriers and challenges and that it was important to show what progress has been made and how creative the sector can be.


On Thursday morning, delegates met in three breakout groups to discuss a possible sustainable transport SDG and other means to highlight sustainable transport in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Delegates were asked to consider the specific goals, potential indicators, implementation aspects, and how to make use of the EST Forum.

IISD RS covered two of the three breakout groups.

GROUP B: Cornie Huizenga served as facilitator. Several delegates indicated that including Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the transport discussion was very important. It was noted that accessibility to transport by itself may not be an adequate goal and that perhaps it should include a quality component. One delegate pointed out that increased mobility may come with a cost, such as increased accidents and fatalities. Delegates considered whether lack of an SDG on transport would have any negative impacts on the status of sustainable transport in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Delegates generally agreed on its importance and made the following points: with so many initiatives in the international arena the absence of specific goals would make sustainable transportation a “least visited issue”; the issue would not be well articulated; and pushing the issue forward would help secure needed expertise, resources and capacity within traditional UN frameworks.

GROUP C: Michael Replogle facilitated the session. He indicated that discussions should center on Paragraph 27 of the background document presented on Thursday morning by Cornie Huizenga. Discussion focused on: targets on access and time needed for commuting on public transport and/or walking and cycling; reduction in traffic-related deaths; and reductions in air pollution from passenger and freight transport.

Concerning the time estimate of 30 minutes, some delegates thought this was a viable allocation. Others said it depends on the size of the city. It was also highlighted that traffic congestion depends on personal behavior choices. Regarding promotion of cycling, climate considerations were acknowledged as well as how to facilitate optimal conditions for cycling.

Concerning the target proposed in paragraph 27 for air pollution reductions of 40- 60% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels, some delegates preferred that this be addressed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate negotiations. The need for continued development in many Asian countries was also identified with respect to setting targets regarding air pollution. Replogle clarified that this could be interpreted as a global target, reached by developing and developed countries, recognizing common but differentiated responsibilities. Delegates also raised the question of lifecycle management of vehicles as well as the adoption of green corridors to mitigate some urban pollutants and sequester carbon.

Discussions centered on the need for scientifically-sound and evidenced-based data when setting targets, with suggestions to work with the UN Statistics Division. Questions were raised about how to set and prioritize relevant indicators. Concerning financing, delegates stressed the need for both loans and grants, as many Asian countries still require financial assistance to develop EST systems. Educational approaches were also suggested for capacity building. To continue momentum, the adoption of EST focal points was suggested, to further discussions between meetings through webinars and conference calls. It was also suggested that member states encourage their national delegates to lift this issue at the UN General Assembly.


In the afternoon, results and recommendations from the breakout groups were presented.

GROUP A: Heather Allen summarized the group’s discussions. Delegates used the proposed targets under Paragraph 27 as a starting point and considered: the need for clearer definitions, using road fatalities as an example of a term needing clarification. Delegates emphasized: the importance of data collection; the need to not conflict with other UN processes, particularly in the climate change arena; and flexibility for timeframes, suggesting a progression from voluntary standards in the short-term with more binding commitments over the long-term. It was noted that linking sustainable transport to the international process would require clear demonstration of progress.

GROUP B: Cornie Huizenga reported on the group’s discussions. The group agreed each country would have a different starting point. Implementation needs to recognize differences – those with the weakest capacity need greater access to support. ICT can reduce demand for travel by providing market information and social media is already reducing travel for in-person contact. In response to the question of what would happen if transport was not included in the international framework for development, delegates said countries will repeat the same mistakes that larger and richer countries have made even though a different path was possible. One delegate proposed developing a measure or index to assess overall progress on environmentally sustainable transport,

GROUP C: Tom Hamlin reported on discussions from Group C indicating that three or four targets would be appropriate for each SDG.  He noted that discussions centered around, inter alia: better tracking and networking among EST national focal points; ensuring verifiable statistics; addressing access and emphasis on rural and urban transport; compatibility with other UN processes; linking EST fora  to regional commissions, the General Assembly and the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development; organizing regional EST fora to support sustainable development.


On Thursday afternoon, delegates considered draft text for the Bali Declaration. Discussion centered on three main issues. The first was whether to retain the full strength of the Vision Three Zeros or to soften it by using the phrase “zero tolerance towards,” with some arguing that the goals of zero congestion, zero pollution, and zero accidents were not technically feasible or achievable. The second issue was whether to use the term “accidents” versus “fatalities” for the zero accidents notion. The third was whether the Declaration should call for developed countries and multinational institutions to provide financial assistance and technological transfer in addition to sharing expertise and experiences in advancing sustainable transport.

After informal consultations, the delegates were able to resolve their differences with the original Vision Three Zeros phrase retained and a phrase referencing zero tolerance was added to the text, and delegates agreed to text calling for developed countries and multinational institutions to fulfill existing commitments. The Bali Declaration was adopted that evening.


The Bali Declaration was adopted to “give further inspiration and encouragement to all who are working on promoting Environmentally Sustainable Transport in Asia.”

The Declaration:

  • recalls commitments to achieve sustainable transport goals under the Bangkok 2020 Declaration (2010-2020);
  • notes the Outcome of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) – The Future We Want;
  • acknowledges the increasing frequency and magnitude of natural disasters and extreme weather events globally, including across Asia, and that transport infrastructure and service is vulnerable to effects of climate change;
  • raises concern that a majority of developing countries and cities of the region are yet to make climate resilience, mitigation and adaptation an integral part of their transport policy, planning and development, and recognizes the need for developed countries to fulfill existing commitments for financial support, technology transfer, capacity building, and institutional strengthening to facilitate introduction of next generation environmentally sustainable transport systems;
  • expresses the intent to voluntarily develop and introduce more environmentally sustainable transport policies, programmes, and projects, appropriate to the context of countries and cities while being resilient to climate change;
  • calls for a post-2015 Development Agenda that acknowledges the critical contribution of environmentally sustainable transport in realizing sustainable development and addressing climate change challenges;
  • recommends to complement the Bangkok 2020 Declaration with the voluntary and legally non-binding Bali Declaration;
  • calls for the close cooperation among countries to jointly foster the vision;
  • calls for developed countries and multinational institutions to fulfill existing commitments to share expertise and experience in advancing environmentally sustainable transport;
  • calls for multilateral financial institutions to adopt more inclusive policies for environmentally sustainable transport; and
  • calls for relevant international fora dealing with sustainable development and climate change (including but not limited to the UNFCCC) to give more serious attention to environmentally sustainable transport aspects.

The Chair’s Summary of the 7th EST Forum was adopted with minor changes to the draft report. Notably, delegates suggested consistency when referring to EST or sustainable transport.


Rohana Kumara Dissanayake, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transportation, Sri Lanka, announced that Sri Lanka will host the 8th Regional EST in October 2014 in concert with the Better Air Quality Conference. Satoru Morishita, Director, Environmental Transport Policy Division, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, called the meeting’s outcome very fruitful and encouraged participants to tell their stakeholders about the Forum’s crucial role in ensuring the future of sustainable transport.

Chikako Takase, Director, UNCRD, thanked delegates for their participation and acknowledged support for the meeting from the Ministry of Transport, Indonesia, and the Ministry of Environment, Japan. She recognized progress made on the Bangkok Declaration and the adoption of the Bali Declaration on Vision Three Zeros, which provides a framework for countries to align policies and programs to develop EST. Bambang Susantono, Ministry of Transport, Indonesia, commended delegates on the “huge step forward” with the adoption of the Bali Declaration.  He encouraged delegates to act on EST principles so that Vision Three Zeros can be materialized.


Expert Meeting on Realizing the Rio+20 Momentum on Sustainable Transportation: Organized by Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and SLoCaT, the meeting aims to take stock of relevant follow-up efforts since the Rio+20 meeting regarding sustainable transport in the context of sustainable development. date:  21 May 2013  location: The Hague, Netherlands  contact: Cornie Huizenga, SLoCaT  email[email protected]

60th UITP World Congress and Mobility & City Transport Exhibition: This meeting is organized by the International Association of Public Transport ( 26-30 May 2013 location: Geneva, Switzerland  contact: Mezghani Mohamed, UITP  phone+32 2 673 61 00  fax+32-2-660-10-72  email:[email protected]

Fourth Global Forum on Resilient Cities: Organized by ICLEI, this forum is on Urban Resilience and Adaptation.  date: 31 May- 2 June  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: ICLEI Resilient Cities:  phone+49–0-228 / 976 299-28  fax+49-0-228-976-299-01 email[email protected]

Berlin High-Level Dialogue on Implementing Rio+20 Decisions on Sustainable Cities and Transport: Organized by Innovation Center for Mobility and Societal Change (InnoZ), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Global Forum for Human Settlements (GFHS), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) and Foundation for Social Change, this dialogue aims to highlight proven sustainable urban planning and transport policies and measures, identify good and best practices and facilitate capacity building.  date: 19-21 June 2013 location: Berlin, Germany  contact: INNOZ phone: +49-0-30-238-8840  email[email protected]

Transport Day 2013 at UNFCCC COP 19: Organized by ITDP, SloCaT and Bridging the Gap Initiative, this day aims to ensure better integration of transport and make NAMAs a success for transport.  date: 17 November 2013  location: Warsaw, Poland  contact: Cornie Huizenga, SLoCaT  email[email protected]

8th Regional EST Forum: Organized by UNCRD, the Government of Japan and partners, this meeting aims to bring together ministries of transport and other relevant stakeholders from across the Asian Region together to discuss EST. date: October 2014, location: Colombo, Sri Lanka contact: C. R. C. Mohanty, UNCRD phone+81-52-561-9531 email[email protected]



Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Clean Air Asia
Environmentally Sustainable Transport
Greenhouse gases
German International Cooperation
Information and Communication Technology
Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
Intelligent Transport Systems
Korea Transport Institute
Multilateral Development Banks
Ministry of Communication
Ministry of Environment
Ministry of Public Works and Transport
Ministry of Transport
Ministry of Urban Development
Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions
Non-motorized transport
Public Private Partnership
South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme
Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport
Transport Research Foundation
Union of Railways
International Association of Public Transport
UN Centre for Regional Development
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Vision Three Zeros: Zero Congestion, Zero Pollution and Zero Accidents
World Bank
World Health Organization


The Regional EST Forum Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <[email protected]>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <[email protected]>. This issue was written and edited by Jennifer Lenhart and Teya Penniman. The Digital Editor is Dan Birchall. The Editor is Robynne Boyd <[email protected]>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and the European Commission (EC). IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, New York 10022, USA.