Participants at a regional conference held at the American University of Beirut issued last evening a series of recommendations that would help pave the way for a better and sustainable transportation policy, particularly for Lebanon and its multiple unresolved issues up to date.
Some of the main proposed recommendations and actions included: the creation of an advocacy group that would influence decision makers in the right direction; institutional strengthening and stakeholders’ engagement in policy formulation; creation of an integrated transportation unit to handle all aspects of policy making and implementation; proper and relevant data collection, monitoring and measurements; encouraging local municipalities in pilot projects; decision makers’ mapping to pinpoint the key people for any policy formulation and implementation; and finally the adoption of environment impact assessments and transport impact assessments.
The all-day conference was held on May 21, 2014 to share and discuss research studies on sustainable transport in the Arab world, to propose policy recommendations that would help minimize the effects of the transport sector on climate change.
Organized by the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at AUB, the conference brought together researchers and academics from Lebanon, Cairo, the United Kingdom, the Gulf, and the United Nations.
This regional conference was meant to shed light on sustainable transportation policies in the Arab world, and the resulting economic, environmental, and health impacts of shifting towards more sustainable transport systems, noted Nadim Farjallah, the research director of the Climate Change and Environment in the Arab World Program at IFI.
Farjallah, who is associate professor of hydrology and water resources at AUB, noted in his welcoming address of the conference, “The transport sector is responsible for creating 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse effect. Still, it is a vital sector to the economic development of any country, and as such, the development of ‘sustainable’ transportation systems has become an important topic of debate.”
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