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Air quality monitoring station and dashboard established

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The Atmospheric Watch Initiative (AWI), under our Regional Programme on Atmosphere, organized the inaugration and launch program of Khumaltar Air Quality Monitoring Station and Nepal Air Quality Monitoring Dashboard, on 6 May 2022 in ICIMOD Headquarters, Kathmandu - Nepal. Photo: Jitendra Raj Bajracharya/ICIMOD.

Air quality monitoring data is crucial in identifying problem areas to target programmes geared towards mitigation. On 6 May 2022, jointly with the Department of Environment (DoEnv), Government of Nepal, we  inaugurated the Khumaltar Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) and launched the Air Quality Watch – Nepal Dashboard. The AQMS is equipped with aerosol and trace gas measurement instruments and will also serve as a training and practice centre for our regional member countries (RMCs) and partners.

We have been collaborating with the DoEnv who began joint air quality in-situ monitoring by setting up a real time air quality monitoring station network across Nepal in 2015. Real-time AQMSs measure different air pollutant concentrations with high precision and low frequency in different environments (urban areas, industrial areas, and special nature conservation areas). To date, we have established 27 AQMSs for monitoring particulate matter (PM) in Nepal.

The newly launched Air Quality Watch – Nepal dashboard brings the AQMS data, other open-source satellite data, air quality models and emissions inventory datasets together in one integrated platform. This data availability and integration contributes to improved situational awareness and enhances effective decision making, making it easier for reference and opening possibilities to link the data to different policies.

What the AQMS measures

  • PM (PM10, PM2.5, PM1)
  • Black carbon concentration
  • Ozone(O3) concentration (Surface Ozone)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) concentration
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2) concentration
  • NOx, NO, NO2 concentration
  • Meteorology parameters (Temperature, humidity, pressure, rainfall, wind)

Our Director General, Pema Gyamtsho, while underlining the need for strong future collaboration, suggested that the establishment and expansion of the AQMS network indicates the growing importance that the government places on addressing air pollution. The chief guest, Gopal Prasad Aryal, Director General, Department of Environment, said that the Department is happy to be jointly generating real time data. He also highlighted the government and ICIMOD’s joint air quality monitoring efforts since 2015.

 

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