Vietnam will host the 12th Intergovernmental Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia (EST 12) this year, said the Ministry of Transport.
The event will be co-held by Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Hanoi People’s Committee, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD).
This is an annual event that promotes the exchange of professional experience and awareness of member countries on environmentally sustainable transport.
At the meeting to prepare for EST 12 held in Hanoi, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho affirmed that Vietnam in general and the Ministry of Transport in particular was determined to implement the commitments that Vietnam has participated in to protect the environment for sustainable transportation development.
"Vietnam was determined to successfully organise the EST 12 to reach high consensus among its members aiming at the development of smart transportation and low carbon in urban transport," said Tho.
At EST 12, the theme will be “Building Smart Cities Through Smart and Low Carbon – Transport Networks.”
The forum will be a venue to provide policies, technologies and knowledge to participating countries and cities to develop smart transportation systems and achieve a low carbon emission.
The main content of the forum include: updating the implementation of the 2030 agenda and sustainable development goals (SDGs), which emphasises the objectives related to transport; approving the action programmes for the following years; discussing options for environmentally sustainable transportation policies, institutional measures, technical interventions and financial mechanisms; and exchanging and promoting sustainable transportation cooperation among partner countries.
The forum is scheduled later this year with about 500 participants including countries’ officials and leaders, UN experts, and representatives of international organisations and research institutes.
Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty, a UN coordinator, said that transport plays an important role in sustainable development and environmental protection.
To build environmentally-friendly and smart cities, it is necessary to coordinate public and private sectors, he said.
Twelve out of 25 objectives of the SDGs were related to transport development, he added.
According to the UN coordinator, the big challenge for Asian cities was how to manage the rapid growth of urban passenger and freight transport demand with limited infrastructure.
Therefore, the effort to build a smart city was not only about improving urban mobility but also contributes significantly to the 2030 agenda’s objectives of linking cities, to the Paris commitment and other international programmes on disaster risk reduction.
In particular, the Paris commitment on climate change calls for strengthening actions and investing in a sustainable and low-carbon future to limit global average temperature rise to below 2oC at the end of the century, he said.
The member countries of EST highly appreciated Vietnam’s work as host, that demonstrated the country was strongly participating in environmental protection, he added.VNS/VNA