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International Conference on Renewable Energy and Climate Change, 14-18 July 2014,

The University of the South Pacific, Laucala Bay Campus, Suva, Fiji.

The Pacific & the bicycle: a human-powered solution

Andrew Irvin, Dom Sansom, and Kuini Rabo
Oceania Cycling Confederation,
The long-term needs and interests of the Pacific Island countries are not being met under the
current personal automotive & outdated public transit paradigm. Persistence of the current
land transportation model is based primarily upon perceived complications involved in adopting
the bicycle & other clean technology for transit.
It is time to explore the marginal costs & overall savings associated with adapting facilities to
accommodate cyclists needs in humid, tropical climates. Measures can now be established to
dispel notions of increased danger and compromised road safety. These may be achieved
through specific revisions to motorist training literature, road markings & signage. Discussion
must also begin with youth & womens empowerment organizations to address and shift gender
perceptions and stigmas against witnessing adults, in particular the female population, upon
bicycles. Resources must also be devoted to public awareness campaigns geared toward
reframing status associated with car culture to accurately brand bicycling as smart transport &
automobiles as unhealthy & unclean.
This presentation intends to elaborate upon various studies provided regarding adoption of
bicycles, offering realistic expectations for the implementation of policies & programs to
facilitate a significant increase in bicycle use and associated civil & infrastructural support.
Key to this realignment of transportation priorities is communicating the reduction in carbon
dioxide emissions easily achievable through adopting bicycles to commute. The degradation of
air quality in the urbanized Pacific communities may be expediently managed and reduced, and
with the subsequent impact upon beautification, increases in tourism opportunities and an
improved ecological outlook will emerge as a result.
In addition to air quality improvements, the personal health of all bicycle riders will improve
dramatically over the first month of daily riding, leading to significant reductions in NCD-related
healthcare costs if the daily activity level is maintained. Significant increases in cycling
equipment supply & facilities will also provide the platform for vastly increased athletic
opportunities for youth in a new range of sporting events. Youth may also benefit largely from
the low-maintenance & low-cost alternative, with opportunities to build mechanical skills and
form a range of new businesses to cleanly meet green growth expectations without
necessitating fuel imports or insurance.
This presentation will explore supporting data & methods to employ toward meeting the
aforementioned objectives.
Key Words: Bicycles, Efficiency, Health, Economics