Atmospheric Watch Initiative
01 December 2022 to 02 December 2022
The Atmospheric Watch Initiative is organising a partner’s meeting to bring together different stakeholders working in the air pollution sector and share ongoing activities, progress, challenges, and way forward with a focus on environmental justice. With new knowledge on the differential vulnerabilities and coping capacities to air pollution coming to light, it is important to work on an evidence-based advocacy strategy to provide better protection to vulnerable populations.
This workshop is expected to bring together stakeholders working on the societal and justice aspects of air pollution management to foster a collective understanding in the regional context and develop strategies and engagement mechanisms for action. With a diverse group of individuals and institutions interacting on environmental justice, we believe that we will be able to pave a joint future pathway for air pollution management. A key delivery of the meeting will be a commitment document.
In recent decades, the HKH has been affected by rising emissions of air pollutants from urban, industrial, and rural sources. This has raised concerns about deteriorating air quality, impacts on health and visibility, changes in atmospheric heating and cooling, increasing stratospheric pollution above the Tibetan Plateau, deposition of light absorbing substances onto snow and ice surfaces, and increasing melting of the cryosphere in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH).
Along with measuring air quality and pollution, ICIMOD has been conducting studies on the exposure to and impacts of air pollution on human life and livelihoods. While there have been several studies on the impacts of air pollution on the health of people, these studies rarely address the impacts of high air pollution levels on vulnerable occupations such as drivers and street vendors, especially at the household level. Rapidly growing urbanisation coupled with air pollution has severe consequences for large populations based in cities in HKH region. When a breadwinner falls ill or loses their wage, what cascading impacts does it have on the family members and their well-being? ICIMOD, together with partners, conducted an exploratory study evaluating the exposure to and impacts of air pollution on marginalised urban dwellers in three cities in South Asia: Lahore (Pakistan), Kathmandu (Nepal), and Mandalay (Myanmar). Based on the findings of this study, a larger survey-based study was initiated in 2022 in Dehradun, India, and Chattagram, Bangladesh. This study is currently being conducted and is expected to add to the knowledge generated by the earlier exploratory study.
(Tea break included)
What could be our partnership approach?