Cities and Mountains

Breakout session

Date: 19 November 2014
Time: 17:15 - 18:45 hrs
Venue: Committee Room A, BMICH, Colombo
Sponsor: ICIMOD

Cities that are surrounded by or next to high mountains face additional challenges in managing air quality. Topography influences ventilation by blocking or channeling air flow. It creates night-time drainage flows that pool cold air in low areas, enhancing temperature inversions. The diurnal patterns of air pollution are affected not only by the diurnal patterns of emissions, but also by the local meteorology that is strongly influenced by the mountains.  

Meanwhile, mountain environments are often affected by emissions from far-away urban and industrial centres. Pollutants transported over long distances affect not only air quality and visibility in mountain areas, but temperature, precipitation patterns, and even snow and ice cover. However, the effects are not one-way. Melting of glaciers and rainfall in mountain areas affect water availability and floods in far-away downstream cities as well.


  • To raise awareness about topographic effects on urban air quality
  • To increase understanding about linkages between urban areas and far-away mountain environments
  • To share experience about designing relevant science-based policies

Intended Outcome

  • Statement in BAQ plenary outcome document

Target Participants

Policy makers from countries with mountains.

Detailed Agenda 

Session Chair
: Arun B Shrestha, ICIMOD

11:00-11:05 hrs Session introductionBidya Banmali Pradhan, Associate Coordinator, Atmosphere Initiative, ICIMOD 5 min
11:05 -11:30 hrs Introduction to Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs)Harry Vallack, SEI5 min
Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and results of Intergovernmental Consultations in AsiaMartina Otto, CCAC5 min
SLCP initiative in HKH region Bidya Banmali Pradhan,
5 min
Co-benefits and Asian Co-Benefits PartnershipEric Zusman, IGES5 min
Update from Consultation Meeting on Joint Forum on Clean Air and 5th Governmental Meeting on Urban Air Quality in Asia Glynda Bathan, Clean Air Asia5 min
11:30-12:00 hrs Panel Discussion:
  • Brick Kilns: Mr. JS Kamyotra, Director , Central Pollution Control Board
  • Cookstoves: Sultan Ahmed, Director, Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forests and Md. Mominur Rahman, Assistant Professor, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)
  • Health: Dr. Lanka Jayasuriya Dissanayake, World Health Organization and Dr Ruwan Wijayamuni, Public Health Department, Colombo Municipal Council
  • Transport: Dr. Wang Yanjun, Vehicle Emission Control Center, Ministry of Environmental Protection China
  • Waste: Nida Cabrera, Cebu City Government
12:00-1:00 hrsModerated Discussion  

Contact Persons:

Arnico Panday 
Programme Coordinator - Atmosphere Initiative & Senior Atmospheric Scientist, ICIMOD

Bidya Banmali Pradhan 
Associate Coordinator - Atmosphere Initiative; Atmospheric Environment Specialist, ICIMOD