Climate-Proofing Timor-Leste's Roads


Climate-Proofing Timor-Leste's Roads

01 May 2010
Author / Speaker: 

View Cases

A pilot project has taught Timor-Leste and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that climate change risks should logically be considered during rehabilitation when climatic changes impact roads to the point that their closure or threatened disappearance becomes commonplace.

In 2009, ADB approved the Road Network Development Sector Project to rehabilitate 230 kilometers of Timor Leste’s national roads and develop a road maintenance program. Timor-Leste’s severe climate—with droughts, floods, and strong winds—had always been the biggest enemy of its roads. With road closures, landslides, land degradation, and sedimentation, almost the entire road network of Timor-Leste needed rehabilitation.

The pilot showed that when conducting climate change assessments, it is important to identify climate change parameters that are most important to a project from the onset. To counter inherent uncertainties in mathematical models, an integrated “top-down” and “bottom-up” approach to climate change assessment must be adopted. Furthermore, small investments to climate-proof road projects can lead to substantial savings in future rehabilitation costs.

Project officers and climate change specialists in the Environment and Safeguards Division of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department are working to develop a step-by-step guide on climate-proofing infrastructure projects. Since the world is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, their hope is to make climate change assessments more readily doable and mainstreamed into project designs.

Geographical Focus: 
Type of Content: 
Project Stories


The views expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or its Board of Governors or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this publication and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. By making any designation of or reference to a particular territory or geographic area, or by using the term “country” in this document, ADB does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.