Clean Air Asia’s pioneering Guidance Framework for Better Air Quality in Asian Cities, launched in February, is empowering cities and countries to resolve the air pollution challenges that are so prevalent throughout the region. It provides roadmaps that facilitate the assessment of a city’s and/or country’s level of development in six areas and identifies the priority measures that need to be undertaken to address the key issues.
Clean Air Asia’s groundbreaking Guidance Framework for Better Air Quality in Asian Cities, launched in February, provides cities with the knowledge and direction needed to effectively reduce air pollution.
The Guidance Framework is recognized as a pioneering approach that empowers local and national-level authorities to resolve the air pollution challenges that are so prevalent throughout the region. The voluntary and non-binding Guidance Framework – developed in consultation with environment ministries, experts and air quality management stakeholders – 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. It was developed as an outcome of the biennial Governmental Meetings on Urban Air Quality in Asia, co-organized by Clean Air Asia and United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia Pacific.
The Guidance Framework facilitates assessment of a city’s and/or country’s level of development in each of those six areas and identifies the priority measures that need to be undertaken to address the key issues. It is a living document that will evolve with the capacities and needs of its users.
The Guidance Framework also serves as a guide for cities and countries to achieve the Long-Term Vision for Urban Air Quality in Asia, the aim of which is: “By 2030 air quality in Asian cities has made significant progress towards achieving WHO air quality guideline values through the implementation of comprehensive air quality management strategies.” It also supports the realization of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, notably Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable; Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; and Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (Target: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination).
Clean Air Asia is supporting countries and cities in implementing the Guidance Framework as part of its Integrated Programme for Better Air Quality in Asia Programme (IBAQ Programme) through a range of targeted interventions, including knowledge-sharing platforms to strengthen regional collaboration, capacity building activities such as trainings, study tours and city twinning, and technical assistance at both the national and subnational levels. A training course on the implementation of the Guidance Framework is also being finalized to support countries and cities in determining their air quality management capacity and in identifying the interventions needed to improve air quality in accordance with Guidance Framework roadmaps.