Overview of the forum's opening (Photo: VNA)
Vientiane (VNA) – The 10th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia opened in Vientiane, Laos on March 14, gathering nearly 400 delegates from 24 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam.

At the three-day event, senior government officials, cities’ governors, policymakers and expertswill discuss important issues to help member countries reach sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030, as well as pass sustainable transportation solutions and actions of each country.

They will also share diverse policies, institutional measures, technology application, financial mechanisms and cooperation in transport for the achievement of the sustainable transport development goals.

They will also give policy consultations to rural areasin order to help locals access safe food sources andescape poverty, thus boosting regional sustainable development and cooperation, while highlighting the role of railways to SDGs fulfillment.

The forum will also spend much time discussing the empowerment of women and girls, as well as reviewing countries’ action programmes, initiatives and outcomes of the implementation of the goals to 2020.

Themed “2030 Roadmap for Sustainable Transport Aligning with Sustainable Development Goals”, the event is also expected to release a Vientiane declaration on sustainable rural transportation towards the completion of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.

Asia is the region with thelargest population of about 4.4 billion and fastest population growth in the world, requiring a strong change in transportation for sustainable development and stable economic growth.

Currently, about 47 percent of Asian population are living in rural areas, including remote and mountainous areas, without connection with large transportation systems.About 700 million people in the region have no direct access to multifunctional roads.-VNA