Atmospheric scientists call for collaborative efforts to tackle regional air pollution at Second Annual Regional Atmospheric Science Workshop

10 Jun 2014, Pokhara, Nepal

   TwitCount

The Second Annual Regional Atmospheric Science (SARAS) workshop concluded yesterday with scientists calling for more collaborative efforts to tackle air pollution in and around the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region

The three-day workshop, held in Pokhara, Nepal from 7 to 9 June 2014, was attended by over 70 scientists from the region as well as from Germany and the United States. 

Dr Rishi Ram Sharma, Director General of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Government of Nepal, delivering his opening remarks.

Speaking at the opening, the chief guest, Dr Rishi Ram Sharma, Director General of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Government of Nepal, said the region is affected by short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) directly as well as indirectly. “Short-lived climate pollutants affect people’s health and also lead to glacier melt”, he said, adding that, “Our scientists must focus on real-time data collection and sharing”.

The scientists attending the meeting shared research on key atmospheric science topics within and around the HKH region, including emissions, atmospheric composition, chemical and physical processes, and the impacts of atmospheric change. There were 27 talks and 21 poster presentations. 

The workshop continued the work started by the First Annual Regional Atmospheric Sciences (FARAS) workshop held in conjunction with the International Workshop on Atmospheric Composition and Asian Monsoon (ACAM) in June 2013. 

Dr Arnico Panday, Programme Coordinator of the ICIMOD Atmosphere Initiative, welcomes participants to the Second Annual Regional Atmospheric Science workshop in Pokhara.

“This workshop has provided an opportunity for atmospheric scientists working in the region to share their research and to identify key gaps in atmospheric science research in the region”, said Dr Arnico Panday, Programme Coordinator of the Atmosphere Initiative at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). “It has also encouraged greater collaboration among atmospheric scientists with different expertise and  from different parts of the region.”

Participants at the workshop held a first detailed discussion about planning a coordinated multi-country study of the causes of persistent winter fog, which affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people across large parts of the Indo-Gangetic plains in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan during December and January.

Participants of the Second Annual Regional Atmospheric Science (SARAS) Workshop.

At the end of the third day, the participants signed a jointly prepared statement that drew attention to the climate impacts of many air pollutants, as well as to the threat caused by climate change and deteriorating air quality to human health and wellbeing, agriculture, ecosystems, the cryosphere, and water resources in the region. The statement also drew attention to transboundary flows of air pollutants, and to the requirement of widespread mitigation efforts through regionally coordinated science-based policy making.  

In the statement the scientists agreed to work collectively to fill key knowledge gaps. They agreed to increase cooperation among atmospheric scientists across institutions and boundaries to create synergies, as well as to increase regionally coordinated research efforts to help quantify the transboundary nature of air pollution and its impacts. They also agreed to advance research and capacity building in atmospheric science to provide a basis for national and regional policy reforms, strategies, and action.  They agreed to share research and key findings among fellow scientists as well as with other important stakeholders including policy makers, media, and the general public.

Inge Harald Vognild, First Secretary of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu, speaks at the opening of the Second Annual Regional Atmospheric Science workshop on 7 June, 2014.

Speaking at the workshop opening, Inge Harald Vognild, First Secretary of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu, said ICIMOD and its partners should move the knowledge frontier from anecdotal evidence and scientific hypotheses to universally accepted scientific knowledge through research and knowledge sharing. “We also hope to see ICIMOD help build the capacity of its regional member countries in the field of atmospheric sciences,” he said.

For more information, please contact:

Nira Gurung
 

Senior Communications Officer

International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Tel +977-1-5003222 Fax +977-1-5003277

Email: 
nira.gurung@icimod.org