The World Bank, UN-Habitat, UNEP and the Government of Kenya are launching the “Africa Sustainable Transport Forum” to provide a platform for high-level attention and policy dialogue on access to environmentally sustainable transport in Africa.
The goal of the Forum will be to “integrate sustainable transport into the region’s development and planning processes and increase the amount of funding going to sustainable transport programs in Africa – to improve access to transport, reduce air pollution and climate emissions, and improve road safety and health.”
WHAT IS THE AFRICA SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT FORUM?
The Forum will be a high-level platform for discussion and policy decision-making, coupled with on-the-ground activities, south-south exchanges, demonstration projects and pilot programs. Over the first year of the ASTF, it will hold the 1st Ministerial and Experts Conference on Sustainable Transport, October 28-30, 2014 in Nairobi and develop a Sustainable Transport Action Plan for Africa for discussion and review at the Conference. In subsequent years, the Forum will host periodic Ministerial conferences, along with Sub-Regional workshops. Forum activities will include:
- Sharing of policies, knowledge and best practices, along with training, tools, and staff exchanges
- Regional conferences and workshops
- Development of networks and access to expertise and demonstration projects and pilot programs
- Access to funding and investment for sustainable transport infrastructure
The initial focus of the ASTF will be on urban transport, including public transport, non-motorized transport, air quality and health, and energy and climate change. Technical and institutional support will be provided by a Secretariat, hosted by UNEP in Nairobi.
The goals of the 1st ASTF Conference are to:
- Shape the initiative
- Share best practices from Africa
- Develop Framework for Action
- Plan follow-on activities
- Develop partnerships
WHY IS THIS NEEDED NOW?
- Africa is growing quickly and urbanizing rapidly
- This growth presents an opportunity now to “leapfrog” to more sustainable and more accessible forms of transport
- Sustainable, accessible, and affordable transport is vital to continued economic growth – for commerce, trade, business and job creation.
- Infrastructure and transport-related investment decisions made now will “lock-in” travel and mobility patterns for many years
- Urban air pollution, traffic congestion and road fatalities are all increasing in Africa, with associated health and economic concerns
- It is critical to integrate initiatives on road safety, non-motorized transport, public transport, and air pollution and climate change
- Sustainable transport is a key component of a broader strategy of green growth in Africa.
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