ICIMOD Inaugurates it’s First Air Quality Monitoring Station in Nepal

ICIMOD Director General, Dr David Molden and Minister of Forests and Soil Conservation, Agni Prasad Sapkota together with officials from NTNC and ICIMOD

Realizing the unavoidable effect of air pollution on health, visibilty and overall well being of people in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, the Atmosphere Initiative of ICIMOD was established in January 2013. The initiative aims to improve our understanding of atmopsheric issues and to promote regional cooperation for addressing issues related to the atmosphere in the region. In line with these goals, ICIMOD in collaboration with the National Trust for Nature Conserbation (NTNC) has established ‘Chitwan National Park Air Quality Observatory’ to monitor air pollution at the national park periphery which will provide a basis for studying air pollution impact on biodiversity and ecosystems. The station was installed in NTNC’s premises in Sauraha and was inaugurated by Hon. Agni Prasad Sapkota, Minister of Forests and Soil Conservation on 26 December 2015. 

Inaugurating the observatory at NTNC office Mr Sapkota showed keen interest on the Air Quality Observatory and said that he was very pleased to see the developments despite of the current crisis in the nation. Sapkota stressed that any work on conservation and scientific research including  data generated from the observatory must be translated into improving the livelihoods of the marginalized and the vulnerable that depend on forest resources and thanked ICIMOD, MoFSC and NTNC for installating the station.   

“This is the first air quality monitoring station in Chitwan”, said Dr David Molden, the Director General of ICIMOD. “The station will generate useful carbon data for REDD+ which will help  to link this datawith the impact of air pollution on the ecosystem of the national park. Open fires and agriculture field burnings are some of the major sources of black carbon and interventions can be designed to mitigate such sources”, said Dr Molden. 

ICIMOD’s  REDD and Atmosphere Initiatives worked with NTNC to set up this observatory. Data generated from this observatory will assist Chitwan district in the REDD readiness phase and assist in improving conservation science for the park and the buffer zone. Chitwan National Park, though renowned for its extraordinary work in conservation of rare species and involvement of local communities in the management of park and buffer zone, has not been able to give much attention to the potential threat from air pollution on biodiversity and ecosystems. There is no data till this date to quantify air pollution levels in the district. 

For more information visit: http://www.icimod.org/?q=20830