City mayors and international experts gathered at the "Asian Mayors’ Policy Dialogue for the Promotion of Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) in Cities" on 23-24 April 2007, Kyoto, Japan. The policy dialogue incorporated city-specific elements under the overall framework of the Regional EST Forum, and brought about greater coordination and collaboration among national and local efforts to realize the goal of sustainability in the transport sector in the Asian region. City mayors presented their initiatives in promoting EST at the city level, shared best practices and lessons learned, and discussed future steps with each other. As an outcome of the dialogue, the Kyoto Declaration was adopted by the city mayors towards further promotion of EST through city level action plans and programmes.
Mr. Kazunobu Onogawa, Director of UNCRD emphasized the importance of bringing city-level perspectives to the Regional EST Forum by saying that "national and city-level policies, programees, and action plans to promote EST must be in harmony with each other, in order to maintain and enhance their efficacy."
He also observed that the adoption of the Kyoto Declaration by Asian Mayors was an historic moment for the Asian EST Initiative, noting that "the Declaration would be instrumental in motivating both participating and non-participating Asian cities to realize EST in its truest sense to promote environment- and people-friendly transport in Asia." He also expressed his strong hope that this Mayors' message would be effectively transferred to all parties concerned, including international, regional, and bilateral supporting organizations, in order to fully implement EST in Asia.
Mr. Cornie Huizenga, Head of Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia), adds that "CAI-Asia a key supporter of the EST process. CAI-Asia is discussing with UNCRD together will other stakeholders about strengthening the level of cooperation on EST."
Background on the Regional EST Forum and the Aichi Statement
The Regional EST Forum is a joint initiative of the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan. The EST Forum provides a strategic/ knowledge platform for sharing experiences and disseminating among Asian countries best practices, policy instruments, tools, technologies, in relation to various aspects of EST.
The 1st Regional EST Forum was conducted in Aichi, Japan in August 2005 and resulted in the Aichi Statement, which is national in scope. Subsequent discussions on the implementation of the Aichi Statement were held during the 2nd Regional EST Forum convened in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in Dec 2006, organized as a pre-event to the Better Air Quality 2006 workshop.