Dear partners and friends,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! On behalf of Clean Air Asia China Office, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy 2015!
Clean Air Asia is becoming the “go to” international civil society organization in Asia on air quality. In 2014, we reinforced this position by making sure we worked on the right issues, at the right time and in the right places, and always focusing on impact. We have developed the China Strategy for 2014-2017, and providing capacity building, developing stakeholder collaboration platform, engaging the public and promoting South-South cooperation are the four approaches we decided to adopt to create meaningful changes in China. Taking the opportunity of welcoming the New Year, I would like to share with you highlights of Clean Air Asia in China in 2014. A summary of key air quality management developments in China in 2014 and our China brochure are attached as well.
1. Communicating China Efforts of Fighting Against Air Pollution with Asia and the world at BAQ2014
Twenty (20) representatives from China actively participated in the Better Air Quality 2014 Conference (BAQ2014) – Clean Air Asia’s flagship event – in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which gathered more than 1,000 delegates from 50 countries from November 19-21, 2014. Mr. Chen Liang, Director-General of Foreign Economic Cooperation Office of Ministry of Environmental Protection (FECO-MEP) introduced the latest policy developments in air pollution prevention and control in China at the conference opening plenary, and at the break-out sessions, China’s transport sector emission control strategies including for black carbon, and China city experiences were shared. China’s presentations attracted great attention, because many participants were aware of the severity of air pollution in China, but hardly knew the efforts and progress being made to address this. The BAQ conference provides the best platform for China to communicate with Asia and the world, and create South-South collaboration opportunities.
2. Continuation of China City Air Quality Management Network
The China City Air Quality Management Network co-organized by Clean Air Asia and FECO-MEP, which has run for 10 years, brings together MEP, Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs), other local agencies and national and international experts to build the capacity of cities, promote learning between cities and from international experiences as well as providing input for national policy making. The 10th China City Air Quality Management Workshop themed “Air Pollution Emergency Response Management” was successfully held in 2014, with more than 80 participants, representing 15 city EPBs, 5 provincial Environmental Protection Departments (EPDs), and leading experts in China, US and Singapore on this field.
3. Strengthening In-depth Support to Pearl River Delta (PRD)
Clean Air Asia strengthened our support to PRD in 2014 in two respects. On one hand, based on consultation with Guangdong EPD and Guangdong Academy of Environmental Science (GDAES) on training needs, an in-depth training on source apportionment was provided for Guangdong EPD, 9 city EPBs and supporting research institutes in the region. On the other hand, Clean Air Asia is working with Guangdong EPD and GDAES on the PRD Clean Air Report, which aims to communicate with the public on air quality management information, encourage dialogues between the public and policy-makers and build trust. This will be the first regional Clean Air Report in China, following the Jiangsu Province, Beijing, Hangzhou and Jinan Clean Air Reports.
4. Development of Regional Collaboration Platform and Providing Capacity Building in Northeast China
Clean Air Asia started building the regional collaboration platform in Northeast China – a new region since we adopted a bottom-up approach to promote regional AQM collaboration in Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and PRD since 2010. In collaboration with FECO-MEP, the “Workshop for Implementation of Action Plan for Air Pollution Prevention and Control in China Northeast Cities” was held, where a total of 30 participants including officials from 2 provincial EPDs and 7 city EPBs, and Urumqi EPB representative as well as academia attended the workshop, exchanging comprehensive information on the progress of air pollution prevention and control, management experiences, challenges and future work plans. Moreover, selected city EPB representatives were invited to BAQ2014 to learn the latest findings, experiences and good practices of AQM. Cities in Northeast China welcomed very much Clean Air Asia’s acting as a neutral and reliable party providing technical support to the region and creating a platform for dialogue for cities in the region for information exchange and collaboration.
5. Development of Guidance Framework for Better Air Quality in Asian Cities
Clean Air Asia is currently developing “The Guidance Framework for Better Air Quality in Asian Cities (Guidance Framework),” an authoritative guidance document for policy and decision makers at the national and local levels on how to address key urban air quality issues in Asia, which includes 6 guidance areas – ambient air quality standards and monitoring systems, emission inventory and source apportionment, health and other impacts, communicating air quality, health and co-benefits, clean air plans, policies, and measures, and governance. This guidance document will be the cornerstone of capacity building activities Clean Air Asia will organize in Asia, including China. During the guidance document development process, China experts were invited as authors and China city comments were incorporated.
6. Strengthening City Capacity Building through Training Course Development
Clean Air Asia has adopted the Train-X methodology, a training methodology successfully implemented internationally in the air, maritime and other industries, to develop needs-oriented and targeted AQM training courses. As the first step, training needs assessment for three target groups – provincial and city environmental protection agencies, local NGOs and media – was conducted in China. The assessment survey was done through a range of approaches including face-to-face interviews, focused group discussions, phone interviews and online questionnaire survey. In the survey, questions in the 6 areas consistent with the Guidance Framework Clean Air Asia is developing at the moment were asked. Based on the survey results, a training course developer workshop was held, and 4 training courses on specific AQM topics will be developed by Clean Air Asia in 2015.
7. Development of Partnership with AQM Civil Society
Clean Air Asia has developed a partnership with the SEE Foundation in China. Clean Air Asia and SEE Foundation’s collaboration focuses on using Clean Air Asia’s expertise in AQM and capacity building experience in China and SEE Foundation’s local NGOs platform to increase local NGOs’ AQM knowledge and capacity for science-based analysis and action. Through Beijing Energy Network platform, Clean Air Asia introduced health impact assessment methodology of outdoor air pollution and important scientific issues on air pollution which attracted around 50 participants from environmental industry, finance, media, and academy.
8. Establishment of Innovative Platform with Private Sector
Clean Air Asia, and Faurecia, a recognized leader in the global vehicles market and emissions control technology signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of actions and interventions that accelerate the effective implementation of clean air and transport emission control policies in key cities in China. Under the collaboration, Clean Air Asia will establish an innovative collaboration platform which is solution-oriented, stakeholder-inclusive and promoting public and private partnership with the aim of local vehicle emission reduction. In 2015, a multimedia information campaign will also be held to reach out to truck drivers about eco-driving, emission control technologies and the importance of vehicle maintenance.
9. Further Development of China Green Freight Initiative (CGFI)
CGFI, the national green freight program Clean Air Asia has been implementing with the China Road Transport Association and Research Institute of Highway entered into the 3rd year of implementation in 2014. Engaging shippers is an important development in order to motivate carriers to adopt green freight technologies and logistics management practices. Lenovo and P&G are recognized as the first two Green Shippers at the 2014 CGFI annual seminar. SmartWay Center with USEPA delivered training on national green freight program management based on their newly developed “How to Develop a Green Freight Program” course book and in response to the current needs and challenges of CGFI.
10. Continuation of Green Transport Column to Spread Experience and Ideas
Clean Air Asia invited international and national experts to contribute experience, good practices and ideas in our Green Transport Column, which was established in 2013 in cooperation with Transport Construction and Management Magazine hosted by China Academy of Transportation Sciences. In 2014, 9 issues were published. You can find the articles on our green transport column on our portal and our newly opened Wechat account (ID: cleanairasia).
Looking forward to 2015, there are definitely some exciting initiatives and times ahead for Clean Air Asia in China. We are going to continue to build on our strengths and focus even more on the impact we can achieve across our programs and with our members, networks and partners.
Clean Air Asia
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