11:15 – 12:45 - Multi-Function Hall 3
Currently, the Indo-Gangetic Plains and the Himalayan Foothills region (IGP-HF) spanning Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, is a global air pollution hotspot. In many places of the region, both urban and rural, air pollution has reached alarming levels, affecting the health of millions of people, particularly women, children, and the elderly; in each of these groups, the poor are the most vulnerable. The IGP-HF Air Quality Management (AQM) Science Policy Dialogue (SPD) process, begun in December 2022 with the signing of the Kathmandu Roadmap for Improving Air Quality in the region, is providing a platform for the four countries sharing the IGP-HF airsheds to engage in a process of coordination on national AQM challenges. Air pollution is a complex problem; however, solutions do exist, and many countries have cleaned up their ambient air pollution in the past. Hence, there is a strong imperative to foster cross-country knowledge exchanges, particularly focusing on best practices and success stories. In addition, the pollution from one country, or subnational area inside a country, may have a significant environmental and human impact elsewhere, given the transboundary nature of the air pollution. Therefore, it is vital for the countries to coordinate their monitoring, planning, and abatement design efforts.
This upcoming session offers a unique opportunity for south-south learning in the context of a World Bank partnership with ICIMOD to develop a regional air quality management program, focusing on action-oriented, targeted support for cleaning the airsheds of the IGP-HF region, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. The session will explore possibilities for national and regional air quality abatement projects and partnerships; build synergies and harmonization across sectors and regions for effective and improved Air Quality Management. This session will present best practices from elsewhere including PRC and discuss how aligning regional efforts strategically, revitalizing partnerships, and promoting cross-regional knowledge sharing helps to achieve WHO Air quality guidelines in much more cost-effective manner than unilateral actions.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Clean Air Asia
Khushboo Sharma, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
- Air Quality in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Region and ICIMODs Action Plan 2030 - Bhupesh Adhikary, ICIMOD
- Key findings from the “Striving for Clean Air in South Asia” report and insights from the Regional Air Quality Management Program in the Indo-Gangetic Plain and Himalayan Foothills - Martin Heger, Senior Environment Specialist, World Bank
- Learnings from PRC: Presentation of findings from China Air report - Weihao Zhang, Air Quality Program Manager, Clean Air Asia
MODERATED PANEL DISCUSSION
Moderator: Archana Walia, Director, Clean Air Asia India
- Dr. Sonu Singh, Scientist E, Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, India
- Ziaul Haque, Deputy Director, Department of Environment, Bangladesh
- Syeda Hadika Jamshaid, MoCC Pakistan*
- Dr. Leonor Tarrason, Research Director, NILU*
Dr. Archana Walia, Clean Air Asia