Sea-locked Small Island States rely on well-functioning and reliable transport systems, and therefore face particular challenges when it comes to climate change. It was thus a privilege for Jan Brooke representing @PIANC1 and #NavClimate to take part in the breakout group on Enhancing Action in Sustainable Transport as part of the Placencia Ambition Forum, a virtual event organised by the Alliance of Small Island States on April 20-22.
The Placencia Ambition Forum was introduced by the Prime Minister of Belize, who noted that unlike COVID-19 there will be no vaccine for or immunity from the implications of climate change. The forum reflected on the lessons already learned from the ongoing public health crisis, but stressed the need for continued urgent attention to climate change action.
Specifically with regard to transport and transport infrastructure, some of the key messages coming out of the discussions were:
- a recognition of the vulnerability of transport networks and infrastructure to systemic shocks, particularly but not only in small island states
- the need to be less arrogant, to pay more attention to nature and to seek opportunities that work with, rather than against, nature
- the importance of locally-relevant solutions and of building system-level resilience
- the need to apply the COVID-19 sense of urgency to the climate crisis, to come out of the pandemic 'in a different direction'
- the critical importance of preparedness, of listening to the evidence, and developing ambitious and holistic Nationally Determined Contributions covering both climate change mitigation and adaptation
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