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THE PEP relay race continues its journey

Published: 17 June 2010

THE PEP – the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme established in 2002 makes the link between transport, health and environment, aims to bring together key players from these sectors and make their integration a reality. THE PEP is serviced by the joint secretariat of the UNECE and WHO/Europe, working hand in hand to promote sustainable transport choices for our health, environment and prosperity.

THE PEP relay race stopped in Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on its journey towards achieving the objectives set by the THE PEP 3rd High-level meeting and Amsterdam Declaration. The relay race, a series of topical workshops, was initiated by the Amsterdam meeting and the Declaration as one of concrete implementation mechanisms which should make possible that priority goals of THE PEP are reached by 2014.

A Workshop on Sustainable and Healthy Urban Transport Policies in South-East Europe – “Working together to make things happen” was held from 7 to 8 June 2010. It was hosted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. The objective of this Workshop was to encourage transport, health and environment policymakers to develop strategies and measures to support implementation of sustainable and healthy urban transport policies in South-East Europe (SEE). The focus was on policy integration among three sectors (environment, health and transport) in developing and implementing urban transport policies, together with local authorities, industry and civil society.

The workshop was opened by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Deputy Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, and the representative of the Ministry of Transport, together with the representative of UNECE and the head of the WHO/Europe Country office in Skopje.

Representatives of all three Ministries, city authorities from Skopje and civil society organizations from the host country active in relevant fields, together with experts from Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland had the opportunity to exchange experience and good practices. Participants worked together to identify challenges and needs to promote innovative policies in cities of the region which could further support environmentally friendly and healthy transport policies, and enhance urban mobility.

In a very lively and engaging discussion, participants discussed common challenges they are facing in implementation of sustainable urban transport policies and, in particular, those facing by the authorities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Skopje. Participants also tried to identify ways in which three sectors could work together more effectively, how public preferences could be used to guide urban transport policy makers and planners, and what tools and methods are available and ready to be used for assessing the environmental and health impacts of transport.

The workshop was concluded by adoption of a number of concrete Action Points for policymakers that could be widely used through the SEE region and, if implemented, could considerably enhance mobility and improve urban transport by making it more sustainable, healthier and environmentally cleaner.

The workshop agreed, for example, on a wide range of measures aimed at: establishing a supportive national policy framework and creating a supportive legal and regulatory framework; rationalizing financing and investment in urban mobility; improving institutional co-ordination and co-operation among three sectors; encouraging effective public participation, partnerships and communication, and improving data collection, monitoring and research. 

More concretely, the Action Points call, among other recommendations, for:

The press and the media were present and the coverage of the workshop was notable, both in local newspapers and TV stations.

These Action Points, together with the presentations made during the workshop are available on THE PEP website: http://www.unece.org/thepep/en/workplan/urban/skopje%20workshop_docs.htm.

More about THE PEP and its objectives is available on the website: http://www.unece.org/thepep/en/welcome.htm

For more information on THE PEP, please visit: http://www.unece.org/thepep/en/welcome.htm or contact:

Ref: ECE/TRANS/10/P10

Ms. Christina von Schweinichen

Deputy Director

UNECE Environment, Housing and Land Management

Division

Phone: +41 (0)22 917 2388

Mr. Miodrag Pesut

Economic Affairs Officer

UNECE Environment, Housing and Land Management

UNECE Transport Division

Phone: +41 (0)22 917 4136


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05