Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sustainable movement

Giles Crosse
The developed world counts transport among its most environmentally damaging creations. Aviation in particular has enormous impacts.

However, at a more basic level transport is a vital element of everyday life and a crucial development tool.

So many basic systems rely on the ability to move goods, energy, fuels and humans efficiently, reliably and safely. And of course there are many places where the infrastructure to enable this basic requirement remain lacking.

It may seem an unlikely element for discussion from a sustainability perspective, but the development of stable and safe road systems allows so much vital commerce and business to take place.

Moving food, pharmaceuticals and materials to build homes remains largely impossible without a passable road system. The comparatively huge amount of time it takes to travel short distances in the developing world remains a barrier to safer and happier lives.

Giles Crosse
Whether in the Amazon or Madagascar, regardless of species biodiversity or higher end development goals, roads rendered impassable by seasonal rains leave little opportunity for ordinary people to access the goods and services they need.

Luxuries such as ambulances, but perhaps more importantly the roads they run on, are less prevalent in these parts of the world. There is simply no way to access a hospital within hours in the event of a challenging childbirth or an accident in the forest or on a fishing trip.

Giles Crosse
When political infighting prevents transport infrastructure from being maintained, some of the most basic elements of a functional society become threatened.

The seats above may look uncomfortable, but the opportunities and possibilities they represent are infinitely valuable.

Roads, planes and cars may have caused enormous environmental damage. But for the moment they remain the key to offering higher standards of life. Many communities simply do not have the tools or the skills to maintain vast sections of road or highway.

Vast motorways, cut into primary rainforest, can offer little more than an opportunity to shift hardwoods illegally, move species illegally, or pass drugs in or out of a country.

But in more simple ways, a safe, reliable road system can transform the life of villagers and communities so keen to access the basic essentials of modern living.
Giles Crosse