With a growing vehicle fleet that is already Asia’s second largest, the ASEAN region faces a host of related pressures including climate change, air pollution and traffic congestion. Recognising that effective policy interventions depend on credible data and analysis, experts and representatives from all 10 ASEAN member states and the ASEAN Secretariat met in Bangkok for the third Regional Workshop on Sustainable Transport Indicators on 29 May 2017. The workshop was organized by the Transport and Climate Change project (TCC) which works on energy efficiency and climate change mitigation in the land transport sector in the ASEAN.
Following up on the second Regional Workshop on Sustainable Transport Indicators, the third workshop offered participants an opportunity to review examples of contemporary and historic indicator processes from around the world, taking lessons from these other initiatives’ successes and missteps. They discussed practical issues surrounding selecting, measuring, sharing and consistently monitoring indicators across their diverse countries. Participants agreed that besides reporting data, an effective monitoring framework needs to tell the ‘stories’ emerging from the region’s progress towards its sustainable transport goals. And the workshop drew confidence from the message that countries can work together across the region to make this challenging effort a manageable one, with one participant noting that any given country ‘is not alone; there is hope here in this room’.
Critically, the workshop heard that robust indicator data are a result, not a precondition, of active monitoring – meaning countries can get started right away. This message was expounded upon by co-facilitator and transport expert Sudhir Gota, who urged participants not to wait for the ‘perfect storm’ (or perfect data) to begin data collection and analysis.
All of these inputs and takeaways will help guide development of regional guidelines and an action plan for sustainable transport indicators. A first draft is expected this autumn, with finalization to take place in 2018. The guidelines and action plan are a critical activity identified in ASEAN’s Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan 2016—2025(KLTSP).
The third Regional Workshop on Sustainable Transport Indicators took place in advance of the second meeting of the ASEAN Expert Group on Sustainable Land Transport (EGSLT). The EGSLT leads implementation of sustainable transport activities under the KLTSP and is supported by TCC.