Air Quality Public Information System in Nepal: From Data to Aware Public and Responsive Decision Making



Managing Nepal’s growing air pollution crisis requires continuous monitoring of air quality at many locations. This information is needed for public decision making to reduce exposure to hazardous air pollution, to identify the most cost-effective measures to reduce long-term emissions, and to implement short-term emergency response measures to extremely high levels of pollution. In addition, air quality data are needed to assess the effectiveness of implemented measures and policies.

 In 2015 the Department of Environment, with technical support from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), designed a decade scale air quality monitoring plan for Nepal to see gradual development of air quality monitoring stations in 56 locations around the country, including 14 in the Kathmandu Valley area.  By the end of 2016, we expect to see at least half a dozen stations in the valley, as well as stations in three districts outside the valley, sending live data to a central server and distributed to the public.   ICIMOD was asked by the Department of Environment to design an air quality data portal for Nepal.  

Workshop Objectives

This workshop will bring together a range of stakeholders with an interest in air quality data. The workshop will:

  • Provide an overview of the monitoring network currently being designed, including the stations being set up during 2016 with contributions from the Government, ICIMOD, ADB, and the US Embassy.
  • Gather information about the needs of different users of air quality data from Nepal.  These include, but are not limited to, people with an interest in: 

  1. Assessing their own and other people’s exposure to air pollution
  2. Providing medical advice to patients
  3. Doing research and writing theses
  4. Monitoring long term trends
  5. Assessing the effectiveness of mitigation measures
  6. Conducting environmental rankings
  7. Designing emergency plans for extreme air pollution events
  8. Planning mitigation options

  • Provide an overview of how air quality data are transmitted to the public in other countries, and discuss possible ways for Nepali air quality data to be transmitted, including websites, radio, TV, newspapers, social media, mobile apps, and LED boards.
  • Propose an air quality index for Nepal.