Integrated Meeting on Sustainable Transport Adopts Bali Declaration

est-initiative25 April 2013: The Seventh Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia and the Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport in the Post-2015 Development Agenda took place under the theme “Next Generation Transport Systems We Want for the 21st Century ~ Looking Beyond Rio+20." On the final day of the integrated meeting, delegates adopted the "Bali Declaration on Vision Three Zeros for Next Generation Transport Systems: Zero Congestion, Zero Pollution, and Zero Accidents."

During the EST Forum, delegates 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.

During the Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, ministries of environment, health, and transport were engaged in the discussion on how sustainable transport can contribute to sustainable development and to consider possible development of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Transport and associated targets and indicators. Among other suggestions, delegates suggested marrying an SDG on transport to other goals such as water, health or sanitation. They also called for 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.

In addition, three breakout groups on highlighting sustainable transport in the Post-2015 Development Agenda indicated: the need to not conflict with other UN processes, particularly in the climate change arena; the importance of flexibility for timeframes, suggesting a progression from voluntary standards in the short-term with more binding commitments over the long-term; that if transport is not included in the international framework for development, countries will repeat the same mistakes that larger and richer countries have made; that three or four targets would be appropriate for each SDG; and support for linking EST fora to regional commissions, the UN General Assembly and the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

The Declaration resulting from the integrated meeting calls for, inter alia: a post-2015 development agenda that acknowledges the critical contribution of EST in realizing sustainable development and addressing climate change challenges; close cooperation among countries to jointly foster the vision; developed countries and multinational institutions to fulfill existing commitments to share expertise and experience in advancing EST; and multilateral financial institutions to adopt more inclusive policies for EST. The Declaration also recommends complementing the Bangkok 2020 Declaration with the voluntary and legally non-binding Bali Declaration.

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), and took place from 23-25 April 2013 in Bali, Indonesia.

The Eighth Regional EST will be held in Sri Linka and is scheduled for October 2014, in concert with the Better Air Quality Conference. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [UN Press Release] [Meeting Website] [Statement of UN Secretary-General