Conference on Sustainable transport in Pakistan 21-22 December 2015 Venue: Serena Hotel, Islamabad



Pakistan Sustainable Transport (PAKSTRAN) Project is an initiative of UNDP/GEF, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Water and Power, Government of Pakistan with the objective ‘to reduce the growth of energy consumption and related greenhouse gases emissions from Pakistan’s transport sector, while simultaneously improving urban environmental conditions and improving Pakistan’s competitiveness’. The Project partners are; the Government of Punjab (Urban Unit, Planning & Development Department), the Government of Sindh (Transport Department), Ministry of Communications and IUCN-International Union for Conservation of Nature. CIU-IUCN is responsible for implementing the Component 4 PAKSTRAN, which aims at ‘Increased public awareness and institutional capacity on sustainable transport concepts’. CIU-IUCN is implementing the component 4 that is increased awareness raising and capacity building on sustainable transport concepts in Pakistan. To meet the objectives, a comprehensive capacity development plan is being executed with an objective to target the PAKSTRAN implementing partners, policy makers, planners, engineers and academicians who are directly or indirectly linked with the project. Urban transport is essential to social and economic development. It enables movement of goods to market and provides mobility to people for economic and personal activities. But motorized transport also imposes social and economic costs, one of the most important of which is the deterioration of urban environment. The level of motorization is increasing rapidly in major urban centers of developing countries with its negative externalities, Pakistan is no exception. This is posing a serious challenge to policy makers, city planners and experts from the field transportation and environment. Several different sectors are involved in policy decision that affect the impact of urban transport on quality of life in cities.

2. Objective of the Conference:

In order to raise stakeholders’ awareness and knowledge about sustainable and fuel efficient transport, IUCN as an implementation partner of PAKSTRAN is organizing a 2 days conference “Paving the way for Sustainable Transport in Pakistan”. This will provide a distinctive forum to the stakeholders to discuss and debate innovative ideas and approaches, share and exchange international and local experiences and draw action plans to address the growing challenges and issues of transportation in urban centers of Pakistan with the following objectives:

  • Build awareness of the link between transportation policies and climate change
  • Develop capacity building for the integration of public transit systems in Pakistan’s urban transport sector
  • Co-ordination, consultation and knowledge sharing among stakeholders
  • Strengthen institutions with a focus on public-private-partnership.
  • Achieve sustainability through technological advancement.

3. Overview of Technical Sessions

Session 1: Transport and Climate Change

Virtually all human activities have an impact on our environment and transportation is no exception. Transport plays a fundamental role in our society, it consists of the infrastructure used to move people and goods. By enabling the physical movement of individuals and goods from one place to another, transport facilitates production and trade, provides customers with access to goods and enhances labor mobility. When the challenges associated with meeting society’s transport needs are identified, the most common themes that emerge are increasing demand, congestion and the burgeoning cost of building and upgrading transport infrastructure. However there is an increase awareness of another challenge that is the effect of transport activities on the climate.

While transportation is crucial to our economy and our personal lives, as a sector it is also a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Transport accounts for about a quarter of global energy-related carbon emissions. This contribution is rising faster than for any other energy end-use sector. Without aggressive and sustained policy intervention, direct transport carbon emissions could double by 2050. In Pakistan, the transport sector is responsible for 21% of national emissions. This session aims to deliver paper/ presentations on problems associated with increased transport activity on climate including ecological, economic and social impacts.

Session 2: Managing the Urban Transport System

According to ADB about 44 million people are being added to Asia's urban population every year, equivalent to 120,000 people a day. ADB also estimated that 80% of Asia’s new economic growth will be generated in its urban economies since this is where most jobs and employment opportunities are located. These trends are placing an enormous strain on transport and mobility in urban areas. Motor vehicle fleets are already doubling every 5 years. To provide sustainable urban transport solutions, the region needs to address rapid motorization which is a major cause of congestion and pollution. Road congestion already costs Asian economies an estimated 2–5% of GDP every year due to lost time and higher transport costs. The region's cities suffer from the highest air pollution levels in the world, with as much as 80% attributable to transport. The traditional approach of increasing mobility by providing more road space is neither economically productive and environmentally sustainable nor equitable. In order to meet the transport demand for their ever growing urban population and freight, the Asian cities will have no other choice but to consider developing a sustainable transportation system.

Session 3 Eco- Friendly Freight Transport

With rising awareness of the impact of economic activities on the environment and on diminishing natural resources, companies are looking at ways through which they can protect the environment and be more socially responsible. Transportation has a great effect on the environment and hence this is an area where companies can have a large impact through environmentally friendly transportation systems. One of the most important factors that effects the environment is emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from freight vehicle which lead to global warming. Governments are introducing different incentives and taxes to reduce greenhouse gases emission and encouraging companies to move towards more environmentally friendly practices.

Freight transport roughly accounts for 8 percent of energy related carbon dioxide emissions and his session will aim at addressing modes of transportation which are eco-friendly and highlight the impact having eco-friendly freight can play in helping tackle climate change.

Session 4 Technological Advancement and Emission Control

There has been a lot of research done on ways through which the impact of urban transportation on the environment can be reduced. Similarly, enormous advances have been made in traffic control technology during the last two decades. The goals for urban transportation policy in this respect are to promote usage of sustainable modes; the use of cleaner vehicles and cleaner fuel; and to reduce the number of fatalities and incidents. Managing traffic in urban areas is a complex, multi-layered and multi-functional process generally involving a range of diverse agencies and Intelligent Transport System (ITS) can play a key role in supporting and facilitating each agency whilst also being a key technological tool in delivering core output of coordinated traffic management policies and projects. ITS can be defined as the application of information technology to surface transportation in order to achieve enhanced safety and mobility while reducing the environmental impact of transportation.

Similarly work has been carried out in having eco-friendly vehicles which emit less GHG. Such clean vehicle technology includes clean diesel, compressed natural gas, liquid petroleum gas, biofuels, hybrid and electric vehicles etc. This session will highlight in details the advancements achieved in ITS and emission control.

Session 5 Institutional Framework and Sustainable Transport

Institutions play a vital role in the success and efficient implementation of any project or policy. Similarly, the most important feature in formulation of an institutional framework is a clear division between policy-making and technical responsibilities with an effective mode of communication between various stakeholders. In order to function effectively the institution should have full legal powers and financial resources to decide on a course of action which the technical agency follow through implementation and enforcement.

To achieve sustainability in transportation an institutional framework pointing towards the effective modes of transport is a must. There are a number of examples where institutional shortcoming have led to downfall of the scheme. Hence, this session will highlight the basis on which institutional framework be based upon, it will deliberate and draw conclusion in the form of recommended policy approach required for effective urban transport institutions.


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