The main objective of this project is to enhance international cooperation and planning towards sustainable transport policies.
Its achievement is expected to result from capacity building initiatives organized for policy makers and training activities for technical experts, leveraging on the development of a modelling tool capable to assist users in the selection of the most appropriate and effective measures to reduce CO2 emissions in the inland transport sector (including road, rail and waterways except national and international aviation and maritime transport: CO2 emissions caused by international aviation and maritime transport are excluded from its scope).
Since this modelling tool is meant to foster sustainable transport policies For Future Inland Transport Systems, it is named ForFITS.
ForFITS is being developed as a software tool allowing for the estimation of emissions in transport and the evaluation of transport policies for CO2 mitigation at the regional, national and/or local level.
The tool is meant to be freely available for all UN Member States.
The preparation of a global review on existing statistical data, policy measures and assessment tools concerning CO2 emissions in transport was the first task undertaken in the project framework. A questionnaire (available in Arabic, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish) has been developed in 2011 to provide inputs for the preparation of this review. During 2011, the questionnaire was distributed worldwide with the assistance of all UN Regional Commissions.
An International Expert Meeting (IEM) was held in April 2012. This event allowed the UNECE to disseminate information on this UNDA project, to share experiences and to explore possible synergies with other stakeholders. In combination with a workshop with selected experts, the IEM also allowed the UNECE to gather comments on the review on statistics, mitigation polices, and modelling tools (released in a draft version in April 2012 and finalized in October 2012) and to receive feedback on a draft methodology of the ForFITS tool (released in April 2012).
Following the recommendations received, the UNECE started the development and implementation of a model prototype.
The modelling environment selected for the development of this tool is Vensim. This choice is due to the following considerations:
- the Vensim environment allows for different functionalities, including the model development in specific software for developers, as well as the model usage via a “model reader”
- the Vensim environment allows to use a widely available tool such as Microsoft Excel as user interface for the incorporation of inputs into the model
- Vensim is used for modelling purposes by institutions like the European Commission, the International Energy Agency, academia and the private sector and has a demonstrated record of successful applications in similar tasks.
The ForFITS model, intended to be a very pragmatic tool to help governments in their policy making, is now operational.
Relevant documentation, including a methodological description (updating the draft methodology linked above) and a user manual are expected to become available shortly after. Other project development steps include capacity building workshops (late 2013), as well as training activities for policymakers and technical experts (also in late 2013). The workshops and training sessions will take place in all the regions associated with the UN Regional Commissions.
The model, first uploaded in December 2012 and last updated in early May 2013, includes a Vensim Packaged Model file (.vpm), coupled with a Microsof Excel file (.xls).
The latest version of both these files can be downloaded here:
The Vensim Model Reader is freely downloadable here (selecting the Model Reader option): http://vensim.com/free-download/
For instructions on the use of the prototype model and information on its characteristics, please contact us directly (our contact details are provided below).
The UNECE Transport Division called on the UN Development Account (UNDA) for funds to build this project together with all UN Regional Commissions
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) approved a Project Document describing in detail the major phases and activities of this three-year project
Official project launched during a video conference involving all UN Regional Commissions
The tasks and responsibilities of the lead entity and the other Regional Commissions have been finalized and included in specific Terms of References
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