Integrated Programme for Better Air Quality in Asia

The Integrated Programme for Better Air Quality in Asia (IBAQ Programme) is addressing the growing challenge of air pollution in Asia and is directly contributing to the development of healthier and more livable cities throughout the region.

The IBAQ Programme, launched in July 2014 by Clean Air Asia and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, is focused on improving the air-quality management capacities of cities with the goal of effecting broader change.

“The IBAQ Programme is built on an ethos of partnership, collaboration and cooperation that allows us to invest in long-term gains that serve as drivers of meaningful and lasting change,” said Clean Air Asia Executive Director Bjarne Pedersen. “For Clean Air Asia, the IBAQ Programme enables us to focus and expand our air-quality work throughout the region and to have a real and demonstrable impact.”

The operational core of the IBAQ Programme is the “Guidance Framework for Better Air Quality in Asian Cities”, which provides cities and countries with the knowledge and direction needed to effectively reduce air pollution, and Biennial Governmental Meetings on Urban Air Quality in Asia, which aim to harmonize approaches to tackling urban air pollution and related issues among Asian countries.

The voluntary and non-binding Guidance Framework, launched in February 2016, is organized around key areas of concern in the Asian region, mapping out the steps and actions to be taken by national and local-level policymakers and decision-makers to improve air quality.  Developed in consultation with environment ministries, experts and air-quality management stakeholders, it features six specific areas of guidance: Ambient air-quality standards and monitoring; emissions inventories and modeling; health and other impacts; air-quality communication; clean air plans; and governance.

Clean Air Asia and the IBAQ Programme are providing ongoing support in implementing the Guidance Framework, including capacity building initiatives and trainings.

“Clean Air Asia is committed to supporting the implementation of the Guidance Framework through our programs by providing actionable guidance to assist cities and countries across the region in improving air-quality management and, ultimately, protecting public health and the environment,” Mr Pedersen said.

2015-09-02 17_28_19-IBAQ Programme website DE revised 2 Sept - Word

The Guidance Framework consists of seven individually published books based on priority areas of concern in the Asia region:


The Guidance Framework was developed as an outcome of the Governmental Meetings on Urban Air Quality in Asia co-organized by Clean Air Asia and the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia Pacific. The Guidance Framework aims to provide recognized guidance in implementing the Long-Term Vision for Urban Air Quality in Asia by building the capacity of policymakers and decision-makers at national and local levels to improve air-quality management. The document is organized around six guidance areas based on priority areas of concern identified by environment ministries within the region.

Guidance Area 1 – Ambient air quality standards and monitoring

Establishing/strengthening ambient air-quality standards (AAQS) and sustainable national and local air-quality monitoring systems is important in understanding air-quality status and targets for public health and environmental protection. The roadmap presents key action points – informed by international and regional experience – to guide the development of AAQS. It is recommended that a periodic review of AAQS be undertaken, as well as strengthening a sustainable air-quality monitoring system to support AAQS development and enforcement. Compliance with these standards should then be linked with the development of Clean Air Action Plans (CAAPs) and other sector/development plans. Ambient air-quality standards and sustainable air-quality monitoring systems support modeling and contribute to health-impact studies that inform at-risk populations of the impacts of air pollution.

Guidance Area 2 – Emissions inventories and modeling

It is necessary to develop an accurate and reliable emissions inventory (EI) and apply dispersion modeling and source apportionment (SA) techniques to ensure a better understanding of air-pollution sources and their characterizations in order to guide the development of CAAPs and related environmental and developmental plans and policies. The roadmap identifies steps to strengthen the capacity to quantify pollutants, determine source contributions and evaluate existing and future emissions to assist with the design of the CAAPs. It highlights the importance of improving the accuracy and reliability of EIs and receptor-based modeling capacity, as well as building technical knowledge for measurement and calculations. The development of localized dispersion models is essential in moving towards the application of more sophisticated techniques to enhance the evidence base for AQM policies.

Guidance Area 3 – Health and other impacts

Air pollution contributes to significant health and other impacts. Improved understanding of the impacts of air pollution informs CAAP development and helps engage stakeholders in this issue. Multi-stakeholder approaches contribute to effective co-management of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn lead to significant co-benefits in relation to public health. The roadmap lays out the direction to strengthen the capacity for health and other impact assessments. It is recommended to increase the accessibility of information and ensure the availability of health surveillance systems and air-quality databases for exposure modeling. The roadmap is accompanied by a step-by-step guide to the development of a health impact assessment.

Guidance Area 4 – Air-quality communication

This guidance area entails the development of an effective communication strategy to inform, educate and strengthen stakeholder participation in all aspects of AQM. The roadmap for air-quality communication presents measures that ensure the availability and accessibility of air-quality monitoring data, the use of appropriate communication channels, the conducting of public warnings and forecasts, and the dissemination of comprehensive and non-technical information on the status of AQM for relevant stakeholders. The roadmap also provides guidance on communicating the co-benefits of air quality and climate change, highlighting how the inclusion of air-quality benefits – specifically economic costs – in the design of climate strategies can be used to convince stakeholders to take action, and vice versa. An eight-step guide to develop an effective air-quality communication plan is provided for stakeholders.

Guidance Area 5 – Clean air action plans

A CAAP needs to be developed by cities and countries to include and/or legally strengthen AQM in relevant policies and legislation, with the ultimate goal of improving air quality. The roadmap for CAAP details steps that enable governments and other stakeholders to identify appropriate policies and regulations, building on an understanding of the sources of air pollution and the status of air quality. The recommended components of a CAAP and case studies on different developmental stages of CAAP development and implementation are provided.

Guidance Area 6 – Governance

Both the environment and stakeholders can benefit from good air-quality governance approaches in cities and countries in Asia. Effective governance aims to foster effective policy development and enforcement. Effective governance also educates and strengthens stakeholder participation in all aspects of AQM to reduce and prevent the impacts of air pollution. A roadmap for improving air-quality governance presents key steps to ensure clear, implementable and enforceable environmental policies and measures. Establishing an enabling environment for the implementation of measures with a clear institutional mandate and effective institutional arrangements is key to reducing air pollution.

The document comes with an Information Sourcebook – a compilation of resources to support the implementation of the Guidance Framework. There is also an accompanying training course available online at the IBAQ Programme website:

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