Training paves way forward for strategic air quality monitoring in Vietnam

To enhance the knowledge and skills of the Center for Environmental Monitoring (CEM) staff and related local agencies in air quality management, Clean Air Asia organized a three-day training workshop on air quality monitoring and data management on March 27-29, 2018.

The training is part of the cooperation between Clean Air Asia and the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA), under the framework of the Integrated Programme for Better Air Quality in Asia (IBAQ Programme), to support the Vietnam government in improving capacity for air quality management and the implementation of its National Action Plan on Air Quality Management up to 2020.

Twenty-five officers and division heads mainly from CEM as well as five officers from Hanoi’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE) working on data management, calibration, and monitoring system, joined the training with focus on air quality monitoring tools, methods, and instruments, data analysis and validation.

Vietnam has recognized the importance of reliable air quality data in improving air quality. However, existing data in the country still has a high rate of inaccuracy due to several factors like operational maintenance and cost of air quality monitoring systems, inefficient siting of air quality monitors, international standards that are unlocalized to reflect the Vietnam context, human error, and technological differences, which can all lead to misinterpretation of data.

Dr. Kim Oanh, International Air Quality Expert and Professor from the Asian Institute of Technology, facilitated the training. Dr Kim emphasized the critical role of air quality monitoring and data management in policy development. More than having an official training on air quality monitoring and data management, the workshop served as a platform for an expert consultation for CEM and DONRE staff on practical approaches towards air quality measurement from the latest tools available down to operational issues and challenges.

With very cooperative and engaging discussions, the training set the path forward in terms of a more accurate and reliable air quality data collection and management –the very foundation of developing strategic approaches for addressing air quality issues in Vietnam.