On May 29, the CAREC Institute, in partnership with the ADB and the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Tajikistan, launched a four-day Road Asset Management (RAM) country-specific workshop for Tajikistan in Dushanbe. The workshop is held in a hybrid format with virtual and in person participation of national and international experts, including senior officials, academics and experts with extensive experience in sustainable transport infrastructure asset management. The workshop aims to empower countries in acquiring capabilities and bridging capacity gaps among CAREC countries in the field of RAM and develop collaboration among leading experts, policy makers and influencers in the region.
Ms. Shanny Campbell, Country Director of the ADB Resident Mission in Tajikistan, welcomed the workshop participants, noting the significant role of RAM in minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as climate change mitigation through adaptation initiatives. CAREC countries are committed to improving RAM, as outlined in the CAREC Transport Strategy 2030, which also mandates the ADB and the CAREC Institute to build the capacity of member countries and improve RAM systems. CAREC countries have also demonstrated their need for up-to-date knowledge, experience and skills in sustainable road infrastructure management. In addition, CAREC countries are committed to sustainable development and to reducing carbon emissions by engaging in sustainable infrastructure development activities, including transport infrastructure such as roads. “Therefore, effective RAM can also help CAREC countries reduce or prevent carbon emissions,” said Ms. Shanny Campbell.
Mr. Kabir Jurazoda, Director of the CAREC Institute, in his opening remarks, emphasized that the exchange of knowledge has historically been critical to achieving sustainable development. In the information age, this becomes even more important, allowing people to learn from each other despite the long distances and language differences between CAREC countries. In line with this trend, the CAREC Institute, as the knowledge arm of the CAREC Program, provides CAREC countries with the latest empirical findings and best policy practices including on RAM. Since 2020, RAM has been a priority area of research and capacity building for the CAREC Institute to help its member countries not only build roads, but also acquire practical know-how to sustainably and safely maintain them. Last year, the institute held similar capacity building programs in Azerbaijan and Georgia, and this year in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. This effort will continue to reach all 11 CAREC countries. The institute will be working with leading RAM experts in CAREC countries and providing them with additional knowledge and skills to further strengthen RAM development in their respective countries within the priorities of the CAREC Transport Strategy 2030.
The CAREC Institute and the ADB are supporting CAREC member countries in a range of RAM initiatives, from providing an online training program to country-specific RAM maturity assessments and using RAM to address issues such as cross-border traffic needs and climate change adaptation. During 2020-2021, a RAM maturity assessment through self-assessment was completed for each CAREC member country, and the results showed a significant gap in competencies in various aspects of RAM across member countries. Based on this assessment, the institute considered the overall strategic perspective of the CAREC region and the areas in which each member country needs knowledge support. As a result, the institute began to conduct a series of in-country workshops on RAM for all CAREC member countries.
The workshop offered is fully interactive and in the form of training of trainers. During the four days of the workshop, participants will review the country’s RAM implementation process and learn how to collect, manage and maintain asset data. Additional sessions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigation measures will help the national expert develop their own country-specific plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The workshop will help build a core group of competent asset managers in Tajikistan who will work collaboratively with similar teams from other CAREC countries to support each other in moving forward the CAREC sustainable transport agenda.
On the second day of the workshop, the participants will visit the road construction site between the towns of Obigarm and Nurobod in the northeast of Tajikistan that is financed through the ADB’s $110 million grant. The Obigarm–Nurobod road is part of CAREC Corridors 2, 3, and 5, linking landlocked and mountainous Tajikistan to Eurasian and global markets. The road connects the capital Dushanbe to the northeast region of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, and handles about 2,000 vehicles a day.