Hanoi (AFP) Dec 12, 2009
Southeast Asia and Japan have endorsed plans to reduce transport pollution, especially on the region's congested roads, according to documents released after a two-day meeting in Vietnam.
Transport ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) "agreed to implement measures to mitigate climate change especially in the land transport sector and promotion of energy efficiency and sustainable urban transport in ASEAN cities," they said in a joint statement.
Ministers ended the annual talks in Hanoi on Friday.
Southeast Asian cities are notoriously congested with motor vehicles. Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City are among the region's major metropolises that lack urban rapid transit networks.
In a separate statement after talks with a senior Japanese transport official, the ministers said they had also endorsed an action plan for environmental improvement in the transport sector, to be implemented from 2010 to 2014.
It will provide a framework for the 10 members of ASEAN and Japan to systematically "realise low-carbon and low-pollution transport systems for achieving sustainable social and economic development."
Senior officials are to finalise ways of implementing the plan, the statement said.
Vietnam assumes the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN at the beginning of next year.
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