The challenges and benefits of implementing sustainable transport have been analysed in the UN Second Synthesis Report of Voluntary National Reviews, following the submission of VNRs to the High Level Political Forum in July, 2017
The challenges and benefits of implementing sustainable transport have been analysed in the UN Second Synthesis Report of Voluntary National Reviews, following the submission of VNRs to the High Level Political Forum in July, 2017.
Several countries, including a number of Commonwealth member states, took part in the report to identify the challenges faced in implementing sustainable transport infrastructure, and provided examples of actions taken in their national transport sectors to achieve successful implementation.
The report highlights how countries have addressed the core principle of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development of “leaving no one behind”, and reflects on progress in collecting, analysing and disseminating data.
It is the first time the report has referenced sustainable transport, in response to international pledges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Sustainable Development Goals are aims agreed to by UN nations to ensure the wellbeing of people and the environment in relation to global development.
SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and SDG 13 (Climate Action) are particularly relevant to the 2017 VNR report.
Bangladesh was one of 10 countries that reported on road safety and efforts made, or still needed, to reduce road incident injuries and fatalities, including road safety laws and campaigns to raise awareness of eliminating risks like speeding, not wearing safety helmets and belts, and drink and drug driving.
Botswana and Nigeria reported that insufficient transportation in rural and remote areas had a major impact on those communities’ reproductive, maternal, newborn and children’s health.
Bangladesh and India, along with five other countries, demonstrated initiatives to improve transport infrastructure, such as roads, rail, airports and harbours.
India, for example, has set an investment budget of US$390 billion for infrastructure development for 2016-2019.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, has committed to repair its road and general transport networks to enable trade and cross-border movement, including through the SAARC Highway Corridor initiative.
Rapid transit bus corridors have been developed in the Greater Nairobi area, Kenya, and the standard gauge rail is expected to move a significant volume of freight from road to rail.
Other countries reported the need for accessible infrastructure and transport, incentivising use of renewable energy and clean transport like cycling and walking, lowering public transport costs, and reducing emissions.
Sustainable transport infrastructure and services have been highlighted as being essential to achieving the SDGs, as they directly and indirectly link to poverty alleviation, health services, food security, hygiene services, employment, education and climate change, amongst other development priorities.