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Third UNCRD/JICA Training Course on Environmentally Sustainable Transportation
27 Jul 2011 - 10 Sep 2011
1st Course: 28 Sep - 7 Nov 2009
2nd Course: 5 Jul - 20 Aug 2010
Over the past several decades, we have observed rapid population growth and economic expansion as a result of industrialization and urbanization. Though this has led to an increased demand in the transport sector, many of the cities have been developed without well-designed plans, and this has caused serious delays in the development of required infrastructure and provision of public services. As a result, many cities have been seriously affected by various socioeconomic and environmental problems related to transport. They range from air pollution, public health, noise pollution, and traffic congestion caused by automobiles to subsequent economic losses such as inefficient use of energy and loss of potential natural habitats and land resources.
Growth in transport demands is necessary in the socioeconomic context. However, the concept of environmentally sustainable transport (EST) is the achievement of such growth in harmony with environmental conservation and protection efforts, and in this respect EST is regarded as a transport system which meets the needs of the present without spoiling the needs of future generations.
Recognizing the importance of EST and the required actions to be taken at the national and international levels, the Japanese Government, with the cooperation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), held the gInternational Conference on Environmentally Sustainable Transport in the Asia Regionh in March 2003 in Nagoya City, where the concept of EST was introduced to Japan and other Asian countries. This was followed by the gManila Policy Dialogue on Environment and Transport in the Asian Region,h held in January 2004 in Manila, the Philippines, during which participating countries were encouraged to take concrete steps towards the promotion of EST. The Manila Statement, adopted by the participants at the conference, called for: (a) the formulation of national EST strategies-cum-action plans, and (b) the establishment of a Regional EST Forum and subsidiary expert groups.
In line with the Manila Statement, on 1-2 August 2005, the first meeting of the Regional EST Forum in Asia was held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture as an EXPO-affiliated programme. The Aichi Statement, which was officially launched at the Regional EST Forum, was adopted at the meeting, calling for: (a) integrated formulation and implementation of policies, strategies, and programmes at both the national and regional levels in twelve thematic areas such as public health; and (b) promotion of cooperation among international organizations, experts, NGOs, civil society, and all other stakeholders. UNCRD was asked to serve as facilitator to coordinate them.
In recent years, the soaring price of natural resources such as crude oil has disrupted the world economy, and it was one of the key issues on the agenda at the Hokkaido G8 Summit held in July 2008. Combined with the prevention of global warming, it is considered to be increasingly important to develop eco-friendly transport systems by restraining the use of automobiles and encouraging instead the use of public transport systems.
With this background, in collaboration with JICA, UNCRD has been implementing training courses to build the capacity of officials in the field of urban environment and transportation since 2004. A five-year series of training courses on gUrban Environment and Transportationh was already completed in 2008 and, subsequently in 2009, UNCRD launched a new three-year series of training courses on gEnvironmentally Sustainable Transportationh.
Environmental section of the Ministry of Transport, transport section of the Ministry of Environment, or other relevant organization
1st Course: 9 participants from India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Viet Nam
2nd Course: 7 participants from Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Viet Nam
3rd Course: 9 participants from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam
The training course aims to enable the participants, who have gained a better understanding of the concept of EST, to formulate policies for promoting EST that will be approved by the respective participating sections/organizations, and then proposed to the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Environment, or other relevant organizations and authorities in their respective countries. It also offers the opportunity to learn international and Japanese experiences to deal with the range of problems/cross-cutting issues associated with transport, environment, and health.
The course curriculum was composed of various key aspects of EST: (a) public health; (b) road safety and maintenance; (c) traffic noise management; (d) social equality and gender perspectives; (e) public transport planning and TDM; (f) non-motorized transport; (g) environment and people friendly infrastructure; (h) cleaner fuels; (i) strengthening roadside air quality monitoring and assessment; (j) vehicle emission control, standards, and I/M; (k) land-use planning; and (l) strengthening knowledge base, awareness, and public participation. Through lectures, case studies, and group exercises, the course provided the participants with a better understanding of the concept of EST and a venue for sharing their ideas and experiences to incorporate the concept. Field visits included a car manufacturer, police department, exhaust gas monitoring station, biofuel producer that recycled cooking oil waste from homes and restaurants into biofuel, automobile safety inspection site, research institutes as well as Japanfs new transport system such as the guided busway system and magnetically elevated train called Linimo. In addition, they visited the loop-line tramway called Centram and Toyama Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Toyama City.
The participants also exchanged their technical expertise and experiences with each other and examined EST-related measures/policies in the past and future using a matrix. Finally, they came up with an action plan towards the introduction of EST in their respective countries in order to make improvements to the process of existing policy formulation and its content.
An expansion of demands in the transport sector is unavoidable in the process of socioeconomic development; however, it should be in harmony with conservation of the environment. It is highly expected that their action plans that have been formulated based on what they learned from the training course will be submitted to their own/upper-level organizations as alternative options for solving their problems.