The World Bank and the Inter-American Federation of the Construction Industry (FIIC) have agreed to work together to promote sustainable infrastructure construction in Latin America and the Caribbean, associated with the Knowledge Platform on Environmentally Sustainable Infrastructure Construction in Latin America and the Caribbean (KPESIC).
“Sustainable infrastructure is fundamental for growth and inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. This collaboration is an important step in this direction”, stated Dr. Karin Kemper, Senior Regional Advisor to the World Bank Vice President of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mr. Ricardo Platt, President of FIIC, expressed that “KPESIC and environmental and social sustainability in the construction sector offers great benefits for FIIC’s members, including its Chambers, affiliated companies and their employees. It is important issue for the region”.
KPESIC is a bilingual (English and Spanish) and free web-site to help promote better environmental and social management of the region’s infrastructure projects. “Our desire is to provide easily accessible and reliable information, becoming a forum to contribute ideas and solutions, which will improve the technical capacity of specialists and project results”, said Dr. Robert Montgomery, leader of the initiative for the World Bank.
Mr. Gonzalo Delgado, Sustainable Infrastructure Coordinator of FIIC, expressed “the importance of working together with KPESIC to improve the capacities of construction companies in the region”. “We are very interested in establishing similar collaborations with other entities, associations or companies”, said Dr. Montgomery.
The platform is focused on the infrastructure sectors of transport, energy and water and sanitation; and deals with the project construction phase as well as the planning, design, and operation and maintenance phases.
The platform will be useful to technical specialists—in environmental or government agencies, construction companies, engineering firms and more—who are involved directly or indirectly with developing infrastructure in the Latin America and the Caribbean region in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Sustainable infrastructure enables sound economic development, job creation and the purchase of local goods and services, it also enhances quality of life for citizens, increases positive impacts (benefits), helps protect our vital natural resources and environment, and promotes a more effective and efficient use of financial resources.
Financial and economic benefits can result from reduced use of materials, improved pollution prevention, reduced carbon emissions, payment for environmental services, and better labor and community relations.
Environmental sustainability can also improve the prospects for the financing of projects. Additionally, more and more project stakeholders, and civil society in general, are demanding and expecting environmental sustainability to be integrated into infrastructure projects.
Experiences in many countries demonstrate that it is possible to plan, design, construct, and maintain infrastructure in a fashion that properly manages any potentially negative environmental, social and health and safety impacts and risks, while enhancing directly and indirectly related positive impacts or benefits.
FIIC is a private non-profit international organization composed of national chambers of the construction industry from 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries. It was founded on November 6, 1960, and represents around 35 thousand affiliated companies in 19 Chambers and generates around 22 million jobs.
KPESIC is developed and coordinated by the World Bank Group, financed by the Spanish Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean (SFLAC) and its day-to-day operations and maintenance are managed by CEDDET Foundation.
Pictured: Front (L to R): Ricardo Platt, President FIIC; Karin Kemper, Senior Regional Advisor to the World Bank Vice President of Latin America and the Caribbean; Robert Montgomery, Lead Environmental Specialist and KPESIC Lead for the World Bank;
Back (L to R): Jorge Videgaray, General Secretary FIIC; Irwin Perret, Coordinator Multilateral Banks FIIC, Mariangeles Sabella, Senior Counsel World Bank; Gonzalo Delgado, Sustainable Infrastructure Coordinator FIIC; Iván Szczech, 2º Vice-President FIIC