According to a UNEP report on progress on preventing and reducing air pollution, published ahead of UNEA-4, integrated assessments of air quality and health are being carried out in Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The report also highlights monitoring and assessments being undertaken by the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and WHO, among others.
February 2019: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has published a report, which provides an update on progress made on preventing and reducing air pollution to improve air quality globally. The report is one of several released in advance of the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4).
According to the report titled, ‘Progress in the Implementation of Resolution 3/8 on Preventing and Reducing Air Pollution to Improve Air Quality Globally’ (UNEP/EA.4/13), since the resolution’s adoption at UNEA-3 in December 2017, UNEP has, inter alia, strengthened the institutional positioning of air quality within the organization; and began developing a UNEP-wide air quality programme focused on monitoring and assessment, policy and technology support, and awareness raising and communication.
The report explains that integrated assessments of air quality and health are being carried out in Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It also highlights monitoring and assessments being undertaken by, inter alia: the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia; and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Asia and the Pacific through the launch of a report, with the World Health Organization (WHO), titled, ‘Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based Solutions.’
On policy and technology support, an air quality management programme in cities in Africa and in Asia and the Pacific is helping to better define and measure the scope of air pollution and its main sources, review regulatory and institutional frameworks and make policy recommendations through a consultative process with stakeholders. In addition, the CCAC has intensified its joint work, particularly on its initiatives on urban health, reducing black carbon emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines and supporting national action and planning on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) in 12 countries.
Regarding awareness raising and communication, UNEP, WHO and CCAC expanded their BreatheLife campaign on air quality to cover 43 cities, as well as numerous countries and regions, with 173 actions benefiting over 97 million citizens.
Several regional cooperation efforts were also launched, including the Asia-Pacific Clean Air Partnership Joint Forum, a technical workshop to review implementation of the 2009 West and Central Africa Regional Framework Agreement on Air Pollution (Abidjan Agreement) and determine a roadmap going forward, and a Western Balkans initiative on air pollution and human health.
The report suggests that UNEA-4 decide to: expand policy and technology support to more cities around the world; establish communities of practice across all regions; produce an assessment report on progress achieved by countries to adopt and implement actions to improve air quality in advance of UNEA-5; and continue to raise financial and technical resources to carry out UNEP activities on air quality.
UNEA-4 will convene from 11-15 March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme, ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production.’ [Progress in the Implementation of Resolution 3/8 on Preventing and Reducing Air Pollution to Improve Air Quality Globally]