Transport related country reporting to global processes on sustainable development: A case study on countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region

An assessment has been developed by the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) to evaluate the status of reporting of 18 countries in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to the six global agreements on sustainable development and climate change. This assessment is developed under a joint project between CAF – Development Bank of Latin America  and the SLoCaT Partnership.

Global agreements have set out qualitative and quantitative targets and indicators to guide sustainable development and climate change actions in the next decades. Tracking and monitoring the progress made to achieve these targets is vital to the overall success of the global agreements not only because it helps to quantify impacts and measure outcomes; it also contribute the evaluation and refining for future actions and commitments.

Most global agreements have set up some form of reporting mechanism to track implementation progress, monitor how their goals and targets are integrated in national policies, and to provide a platform for policy-makers to exchange experience and knowledge to improve their actions.

The 18 countries selected for this assessment are: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

It was found that most LAC countries are, in general, submitting the required reports to the six global agreements; however, the level of useful detail in transport sector reporting leaves room for improvement. It is also clear that countries have a tendency to report on transport development in the context of infrastructure expansion and economic development, but the emphasis on transport’s role in address major sustainability issues is insufficient and inconsistent.

Key Findings:

  • Generally at least 80% (and in some cases, 100%) of LAC countries submitted reports where required under Global Agreements. More than 60% of LAC countries submitted their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) under the 2030 Agenda.
  • Reporting on progress achieved in the context of sustainable transport has not been well reflected in their reporting, particularly in the most recent and highest priority reporting mechanisms. More references to sustainable transport measures are found in the last round of transport related national reports to the Commission of Sustainable Development, which took place in 2010 – 2011, prior to the adoption to the 2030 Agenda. Urban mobility is also mentioned in the National Reports to the Habitat III, which also took place prior to the actual adoption of the New Urban Agenda. These reports reflect more on the state of the art of sustainable transport in LAC countries and less about the implementation of their respective global processes.
  • As the new phase of VNRs is being released for HLPF 2017, we see that the six LAC countries that have submitted full VNR reports have all referred to improvements made in the transport sector, with Costa Rica, Peru, and Uruguay presenting specific data to show trends of improvement in the context of SDG indicator 3.6.1 (road safety), 9.1.1 (sustainable transport), and 9.1.2 (rural access). The level of detail on sustainable transport development given in the 2017 VNRs suggests that the VNR mechanism has great potential to encourage countries to present up-to-date sectoral information on progress made in transport.
  • There is also a greater need for LAC countries to set specific, quantified targets for action on sustainable transport. The assessment finds that only two out of the 18 LAC countries have set specific targets for the transport sector in their Nationally Determined Contributions.
  • The assessment shows that 16 out of the 18 LAC countries make references to at least one of the four Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4ALL) objectives. Universal Access have been mentioned in LAC countries’ reporting most, followed by Safety and Green Mobility, with efficiency being mentioned the least (but still being mentioned by half of the LAC countries).

The full report is available here.