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UNECA urges climate-resilient infrastructure to promote sustainability

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says there is the need for Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) to invest in long-term climate-resilient infrastructure, particularly transport systems.

Antonio Pedro
Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary, UNECA, delivers opening remarks at a side event at COP27

Antonio Pedro, the Acting Executive Secretary, UNECA said this in a statement issued by the Communications Section, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Friday, November 11, 2022. 

Pedro spoke on the sideline of the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference, also called COP27.

The event was on “Promoting Resilience and Sustainability of Transport Systems in Landlocked Developing Countries”.

Pedro said LLDCs needed to build their capacity to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing climate conditions.

“They require the capacity for proactive adaptation through changes in road design standards, more resilient construction, and adequate road maintenance.”

The acting executive secretary also recommended fully integrating climate risk analysis in the project cycle and pre-feasibility studies of individual investments to support training, development and capacity building.

He also suggested developing technical guidelines on the integration of climate change in the planning and design of infrastructure.

Furthermore, he recommended establishing climate resilience project preparatory facilities, and inauguration of training programmes for climate-resilient infrastructure.

He also said the ECA was championing the digitisation of transport corridors in Africa. 

According to the statement, countries shared their experiences during the session. 

Nqobizitha Ndlovu, the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry of Zimbabwe, said the government was looking at resilient transport as a critical facet of building resilience in Zimbabwe.

“We are one of the few countries in the region that is blending fuel with ethanol. Currently, 20 per cent of the fuel is green fuel. 

“We have also levied our citizens for using fossil fuels, which we then use to fund green and renewable projects.”

Ndlovu also said Zimbabwe was creating a carbon fund to build resilience in the transport industry. 

The side event was organised by the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

It was also organised by Botswana and the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

By Temitope Ponle

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