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Published: Saturday 14 September, 2013

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL: The eight large multilateral development banks MDBs announced today that they would invest US$175 billion to finance more sustainable transportation systems over the coming decade to boost equitable economic development and protect the environment and public health across the developing world. The pledge by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and six other MDBs was made at the start of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development also known as Rio+20.



The voluntary commitments are an outcome of the Rio+20 campaign under the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport SLoCaT, a multistakeholder partnership, which includes UNorganizations, MDBs and other development organizations, NGOs and business sector organizations. Sixteen additional voluntary commitments were made by thirteen organizations on sustainable transport. The total pledged today will give millions of people across the world better access to schools, hospitals, jobs and markets.



These unprecedented commitments have the promise to save hundreds of thousands of lives by cleaning the air and making roads safer; cutting congestion in hundreds of cities; and reducing the contribution of transportation to harmful climate change. They will create more efficient passenger and freight transportation, spurring sustainable urban economic growth, said Joan Clos, Executive Director of UNHABITAT.



Pakistan would be among the countries that would benefit from the initiative. This initiative is for all the developing countries including of course Pakistan, which is a large country, Cornie Huizenga, Joint Convener SLoCaT told The News.



The initiative is for Asia, Latin American and Africa. It involves the development banks working in all these regions. With respect to Asia, we are talking about the Islamic Development bank, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. I hope our todays announcement will actually speedup the implementation of sustainable development in all the countries, including Pakistan. We are trying to focus both on passenger and freight transport.



The issue is really how you avoid cities like Lahore and Karachi, which are growing rapidly, where you no longer can move.



The good thing is that there are alternative solutions. We also know that cities like Lahore, which have a very beautiful old city, need to pedestrianise, which will also impact the income generation of the local public he said.



The SLoCaT is in contact with the government of Pakistan. In Asia, we have an environmental sustainable transport forum since 2004.



It includes Pakistans ministry of transport, ministry of environment and ministry of health. In Asia, over the next 20 years, we are expecting over a billion people to move to the cities. Pakistan, at present, is seeing rapid urbanisation as well, so these cities need to have alternative transport systems, he said that it would be too early to guess the share of Pakistan in terms of money from the initiative.



I think it also dep michael kors watch sale ends on the commitment of the Pakistani government and the progress depends on the location of the project. For example in Karachi, we know that they had a discussion on mass transit for several years, yet the progress was always not at par as was needed.



In Pakistan we have a lot of people who are poor, who dont have access to the market, to schools, to health facilities. It is important to create this access. You need to have the right form of transportation as well. If we look at Pakistan, at how many people are dying in road accident michael kors watch sale s, how many people are exposed to pollution and congestion. There are some estimates which suggest that countries like Pakistan are losing 510 % of their GDP because of air pollution and traffic related issues, he said.



The transportation sector is now the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases a result of decades of urban planning that focused on improving mobility for automobiles at the expense of public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians.



This approach has made life much more difficult for people in the cities, especially the urban poor, he said. Never before have these institutions collaborated on such a global scale.



The breakthrough that we are witnessing allows us to plan for the one billion people who will move to the cities over the next 20 years and the one billion people still living in poverty



Participants at Rio+20 have witnessed the toll that traffic congestion and unsafe street crossings impose every day. We see it at home, we see it when we travel, and we see it in Rio, said Michael Replogle, Global Policy Director and Founder of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy ITDP.



The michael kors watch sale SLoCaT partnership will help develop the results framework and annual reporting on the implementation of the voluntary commitments.



The Joint Statement of the MDBs acknowledges this role: Together with 68 agencies that form the SLoCaT Partnership, we have initiated work on definitions, setting targets and choosing indicators for sustainable transport/mobility and the assistance provided to support sustainable transport/mobility, with a view to finalising these within 2012. michael kors watch sale

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