Joyce Msuya, acting executive director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), reacts during an interview with Xinhua in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, April 18, 2019. Strategic partnership between China and multilateral institutions are key to ensure the implementation of Belt and Road projects, Joyce Msuya said during the interview. (Xinhua/Lyu Shuai)
NAIROBI, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Strategic partnership between China and multilateral institutions are key to ensure the implementation of Belt and Road projects is ecologically sound, a senior United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) official said late Thursday.
Joyce Msuya, acting executive director of UNEP, said that infrastructure and energy projects under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative have potential to transform the beneficiary countries subject to adherence to global best practices on environmental sustainability.
"I think the Belt and Road Initiative, its spirit and objective of bringing infrastructure development, support the Vision 2030 and sustainable development goals (SDGs) to beneficiaries is quite exciting," said Msuya.
The UNEP official, who will attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation slated for April 25-27 in Beijing, said her organization will lend technical support to ensure that mega infrastructure projects are cushioned from environmental risks.
"The key part of our offerings when it comes to investments, infrastructure, energy and water is to provide capacity building, advisory services but also the intellectual, scientific advice on environmental challenges that may arise from infrastructure projects," said Msuya.
She said the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation offers an opportunity for multilateral institutions to dialogue with China and beneficiaries countries on how to accelerate green infrastructure financing.
Msuya said that sharing of international best practices should inform the financing of infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative to minimize environmental risks.
"Most infrastructure investments are long term and so innovations can be applied to boost sustainability. The human aspect of these investments should be looked at given the demographic changes linked to rural urban migration," said Msuya.
She said that integrating energy efficiency in the Belt and Road Initiative will ensure that green and sustainable development is realized among beneficiary countries across Asia, Europe and Africa.
Msuya said the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is timely as multilateral institutions explore fruitful engagement with China and beneficiaries of the Belt and Road projects to advance the sustainability agenda.