Time: 14 November, 14:00 - 17:00

Venue: Multi-Function Hall 3

Please note that this event is by invitation only.


Air pollution is universally recognised as one of the most pressing environmental challenges for Asia and the Pacific. And the crisis has only heightened in recent years, leading to a rise in premature deaths, threatening livelihoods and the sustainable development of the region, particularly in many cities where air pollution rises with the exponentially rising urban population. A 2019 report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) claims that 2.3 billion people in the region are exposed to air pollution several times the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for safe air.

The majority of global deaths from air pollution occur in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific. If the current conditions persist, this may threaten the region's economic growth, add to the mounting death toll air pollution already takes, threaten food security and potentially prompt regression away from international targets to combat climate change and increase equity.

In recent years, the region has become acutely aware of the causes of dirty air and has begun taking action to mitigate the sources. As a result, there are opportunities to learn from good practice. There remain substantial challenges in understanding the causes of air pollution and effective short-term and long-term solutions, and securing co-operation and funding to make real changes in improving air quality for the ever-expanding urban population of Asia and the Pacific.

Two key sources of air pollution problems throughout Asia are transportation and agriculture. Transportation is a particular problem for the urban environment. Agricultural sources of air pollution have their origin in rural/agricultural areas, but affect cities around the world. Smog from burning agricultural waste affecting Bangkok

ADB is responding to this challenge in a number of ways – for example, see

ADB is now convening a round-table event at the initiative of its Bangkok Resident Mission.


The aim of this event is to bring together partners from 5 to 10 cities in Asia-Pacific together with partners from cities in Europe, North America or elsewhere in Asia where these problems have already been effectively dealt with.

The overall programme will be: 

  1. Initial round table meeting to discuss key issues (focusing in particular on transportation and agriculture), identify solutions, and identify partners for twinning between cities sharing similar problems. (November 2023) 
  2. Short-term TA contract for each partner to be funded by ADB to develop detailed solutions in each city. (December 2023 – December 2024) 
  3. Funded investment project to deliver each solution (2025 – 2030).