Barbados will host the 10th International Road Federation (IRF) Caribbean Regional Congress, a major road and transportation conference, from Tuesday, June 7 to Friday, June 10, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
The Ministry of Transport, Works and Water Resources has been instrumental in organising the congress, in collaboration with the IRF and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
It is being held under the theme: A Roadmap to a Safe and Resilient Road System. The event will cater to the region’s top transportation professionals and decision-makers, road construction industry experts, and a wide cross-section of road and mobility stakeholders.
The 10th IRF Caribbean Regional Congress will address critical concerns such as infrastructure investments and innovative financing; road safety; decarbonisation of road transport; the effect of COVID-19 on road and transport agencies; building capacity in Caribbean public works ministries, and more.
Speaking during an IRF pre-conference virtual meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources, Santia Bradshaw, thanked the International Road Federation for inviting Barbados to host the 10th IRF Caribbean Regional Congress.
“We all face together an intensified global climate emergency, and the situation is compounded by the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia/Ukraine war. The upcoming conference takes place at a critical juncture as countries will discuss a way forward of not only pathways to sustainable mobility, but also how to deliver the next generation of fossil-free, fuel-free, safe and accessible transport and how to improve the road infrastructure for climate impact mitigation.”
The Transport Minister noted this aligned with the goals that small island states had set to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the COP 26 Agreement.
“The conference will provide a forum where it is hoped that the call can be made to support investment decisions by small island governments regarding the designing and building of resilient infrastructure that can withstand climate change driven threats,” she said.
Vice President of the IRF’s International Programs and Member Services, Magid Elabyad, explained: “This flagship event, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary, is aimed at bringing solutions and discussing best practices to common challenges that the region faces from road safety to climate resilience to the infrastructure needs that a new and electrified vehicle fleet will demand. This Congress will give participants the knowledge and awareness needed to address today’s road safety problems, in a context that Caribbean road safety leaders can use.”
Director, Projects Department at CDB, Daniel Best, noted that the theme of the 10th IRF Caribbean Regional Congress aligned with the infrastructure efforts of CDB.
“Over the years, we have worked closely with our borrowing member countries to assist them in developing or improving their road networks to make them not only safer for all road users but also more resilient. We are all too aware of the unique vulnerabilities our region faces from climate change impacts and natural hazards such as hurricanes and floods. Advancing these discussions and developing our capacity to build the best and safest roads in the context of our realities is critical and CDB is pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with IRF in supporting this 10th edition of the Congress.”
Interested persons may register for the 10th IRF Caribbean Regional Congress by visiting https://www.irf.global/event/10th-crc/.