(Bangkok, Thailand) – Air pollution is a major threat to public health in Asia Pacific, with over 70 percent of the estimated 7 million air pollution-related premature deaths occur. Besides its health impacts, it also poses a threat to Asia Pacific’s food and water security, and climate system, undermining efforts on poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
The Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership (APCAP) Joint Forum, held on 26-27 November 2015 in Bangkok during the Asia Pacific Clean Air Week, provided the opportunity to discuss the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution on air quality and the World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution to address the health impacts of air pollution. APCAP has been set up as a response to the call by countries for immediate and coordinated action to deal with air pollution and its impacts.
Key representatives from Asia Pacific countries gathered at the APCAP Joint Forum in Bangkok.
The meeting was organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and was attended by 23 countries in Asia and the Pacific, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and experts.
Clean Air Asia presented the Guidance Framework
Clean Air Asia’s Executive Director, Bjarne Pedersen, and Head of Programs, Kaye Patdu, presented the Guidance Framework for Better Air Quality in Asian Cities (Guidance Framework) at the Forum. Its development is an outcome from the Governmental Meetings on Urban Air Quality in Asia (Governmental Meeting) co-organized by UNEP Regional Office for Asia Pacific (UNEP ROAP) and Clean Air Asia to harmonize approaches for urban air quality in the region.
Bjarne Pedersen, Clean Air Asia Executive Director, shared CAA’s role in developing
the Guidance Framework.
The Guidance Framework is a voluntary, non-binding framework which aims to provide recognized guidance to implement the Long-Term Vision for Urban Air Quality in Asia. It covers six guidance areas of air quality management identified during previous Governmental Meetings. In the Chairs Summary of the Joint Forum, the Guidance Framework was welcomed by the participants and requests were made to focus on supporting countries and cities with its effective implementation.
“The Guidance Framework aims to fill the void for cities in terms of providing concrete and actionable guidance for cities to improve their air quality management. Clean Air Asia is committed to extending support to countries and cities in implementing it”, says Mr. Pedersen. “The Guidance Framework will be implemented at the city level and complemented by a suite of activities that supports its implementation such as knowledge sharing platforms to strengthen regional collaboration, capacity building activities, and scoping activities to profile air quality management status of selected cities”, says Ms. Patdu.
From L-R: UNEP Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Minister of the Maldives Ministry of Environment and Energy Ali Amir, and Clean Air Asia’s Executive Director, Bjarne Pedersen, and Head of Programs, Kaye Patdu, highlighted the vision of the Guidance Framework for cities.
As part of the next steps, Clean Air Asia will launch the Guidance Framework in February 2016 in English, with the Chinese version launched in March 2016. Clean Air Asia will disseminate the Guidance Framework through various platforms and provide support to interested countries and cities in terms of its implementation. The 6th Governmental Meeting on Urban Air Quality in Asia to be organized in August 2016 will provide an opportunity to discuss implementation status based on the Guidance Framework.
The APCAP Joint Forum ended a week of meetings that took place during the Asia Pacific Clean Air Week. Other meetings held in the week included meetings of the East Asia Network on Acid Deposition (EANET), the Malé Declaration on transboundary air pollution for South Asia (Malé Declaration), the Atmospheric Brown Cloud Science (ABC) Team and the APCAP Science Panel.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Dang Espita
Senior Program Coordinator
Clean Air Asia