Contacts: Brasilia – Mauro Azeredo (+55-61) 3329-1059
Washington – Patricia da Camara (+1 202) 473-6768
WASHINGTON, December 29, 2009 – The World Bank approved a US$8.53 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) – to be implemented by the World Bank – to the Brazilian cities of Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and São Paulo.
The Sustainable Transport and Air Quality (STAQ) Project, supported by the grant, is part of a regional approach to reducing the emission of air pollutants in several important Latin American cities.
The funding will enable the three cities to promote and implement pilot projects to:
· Reduce private vehicle use,
· Create incentives for public and non-motorized transport, and
· Improve transport planning.
The multi-city nature of the project will also facilitate the sharing of knowledge, information, and methodologies among participating cities and others.
“The regional approach is more development-effective and cost-effective than previous city-by-city interventions. It has been developed specifically to respond to different local conditions as well as shared transport challenges,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Director for Brazil. “With its long and proven track record in urban transport and environment projects, the World Bank is uniquely positioned to help cities implement this.”
The project in Brazil consists of pilot investments and technical assistance to the three pre-identified cities to remove barriers for sustainable transport. The cities have been identified on the basis of the following characteristics: (i) they are economic and governmental centers at the national or municipal levels, and (ii) the state and municipal governments are committed to addressing environmental and sustainable transport issues.
The program will lower the costs of development of “green” urban transport interventions in the three cities and make the knowledge and experience available for others. The broader STAQ program involves regional coordination and south-south learning. A key element of the program is the creation of a critical mass of cities in Latin America engaged in sustainable transportation policies.
“Due to its extensive use of renewable biofuels, the transport sector in Brazil contributes relatively less to greenhouse gas emissions than most other Latin American countries. Despite this, air pollution remains a serious problem,” said Paul Procee, Project Manager for the World Bank. “The project will directly help to improve health and wellbeing indicators in some of Brazil’s most populous and polluted metropolitan areas.”
Through pilot investments, technical assistance and capacity-building activities, the project will focus on: freight transport, better coordination and integration of transport and land-use planning and environmental management, enhancement of public transport, non-motorized transport and transport demand management.
On GEF and the World Bank
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is an instrument for providing grant and concessional funding to achieve global environmental benefits in the six focal areas - climate change; biological diversity; international waters; persistent organic pollutants; land degradation; and ozone layer depletion. GEF also supports the work of the global agreements to combat desertification.
The World Bank Group is one of GEF’s implementing agencies and supports countries in preparing GEF co-financed projects and supervising their implementation. The Bank plays the primary role in ensuring the development and management of investment projects. The Bank draws upon its investment experience in eligible countries to promote investment opportunities and to mobilize private sector, bilateral, multilateral, and other government and non-government sector resources that are consistent with GEF objectives and national sustainable development strategies.
For additional information on the project, please click here.
For more information on the World Bank in Brazil, please visit: