UNECE and the Islamic Development Bank launched today the International Transport Infrastructure Observatory (ITIO), a web-based platform that hosts data on a large variety of transport infrastructure networks, including road, rail, inland waterways, ports, airports, intermodal terminals, logistics centers, and border crossing points across Europe, Asia, Middle East, Western Mediterranean and North Africa.
The observatory which currently contains Geographic Information System (GIS) transport network data from 79 United Nations member States, operates as a virtual marketplace for financing transport infrastructure by providing an electronic interface between four user groups: governments, multilateral development banks, regional cooperation organizations, and the wider public. A phased approach will be taken to expand the geographical scope of the observatory, with a further 27 United Nations member States expected to join by 2024.
By using ITIO, organizations can better coordinate on cross-border projects, from roads and railways to waterways and airports. Government users can propose new projects, update existing transport networks and apply for financing. Financial institutions can use ITIO to evaluate project feasibility, using interactive GIS tools and reliable data.
“ITIO responds to needs expressed by governments, multilateral development banks and regional organizations to build resilient transportation infrastructure efficiently,” noted Mrs. Olga Algayerova, UNECE’s Executive Secretary. “We expect it will help all stakeholders in their climate change adaptation strategies.”
The observatory is an online portal where transportation partners can collaborate in a digital space, view transportation networks, explore maps showing climate change impacts, and plan resilient transportation infrastructure.
“It is one of our strategic priorities in boosting regional connectivity and economic integration,” said Dr. Mansur Muhtar, Vice President Operations at the Islamic Development Bank. “It will help identify missing transportation links, enhance existing networks, as well as generate investment opportunities.”
Powered by global partnerships, ITIO supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely goal 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, goal 13 on climate action, and goal 17 on enhanced partnerships for the achievement of global goals. It can help all transportation partners to pave the way towards a more connected, prosperous and resilient future.
ITIO is a joint product of work of UNECE, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), the Islamic Development Bank, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the Centre for Transportation Studies for the Western Mediterranean (CETMO).
Representatives of governments, multilateral development banks and international organizations interested in becoming an accredited user of ITIO are invited to contact UNECE or Islamic Development Bank secretariats.