Sustainable infrastructure is fundamental for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Not only does it provide sound economic development, and with it jobs and the purchase of local goods and services, it also enhances quality of life for citizens, helps protect our vital natural resources and environment, increases positive impacts (benefits), and promotes a more effective and efficient use of financial resources.
A key to successfully developing environmentally sustainable infrastructure is sharing knowledge and experiences among specialists and building their technical capacity. However, given the significant and constantly increasing and improving amount of information available on environmental management and sustainability, it is often difficult for specialists to efficiently find or obtain the most relevant and useful information.
The World Bank Group, with the support of the Spanish Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean (SFLAC), has led the development of a bilingual web-based Knowledge Platform on Environmentally Sustainable Infrastructure Construction in Latin America and the Caribbean region (KPESIC) to help promote better environmental and social management in LAC infrastructure projects.
KPESIC aims to provide an easily accessible and reliable source of information to support knowledge transfer, capacity building, innovation, and lesson learning in environmentally sustainable infrastructure construction and to become a forum for contributing ideas and solutions.
The KPESIC is focused on the infrastructure sectors of transport (roads, rail, ports, and airports), energy (generation, transmission, and distribution), water and sanitation (water supply and distribution, waste water collection and treatment).
In the context of the KPESIC, environmentally sustainability is more broadly defined to include environmental, social, and health and safety management and sustainable actions to both adequately mitigate a project’s negative impacts and risks and also to improve positive impacts or benefits.
The KPESIC deals with the project construction phase as well as the planning, design, and operation and maintenance phases, which are crucial in establishing environmentally sustainable infrastructure.
The intended principal beneficiaries (or users) of KPESIC are the technical specialists involved directly or indirectly with developing infrastructure in the LAC region in an environmentally sustainable manner. This includes specialists in environmental and other governmental ministries/agencies, construction companies, engineering and environmental consulting firms, industrial associations, universities, research centers, not-for-profit organizations and foundations. However, the KPESIC will hopefully be an asset to others interested in promoting environmentally sustainable infrastructure development.