At a glance

Initiative goal

To provide insights and guidance to policymakers through cost‐effective solutions and contributions to development, human health, and agricultural productivity while also yielding positive effects on mitigation of climate change impacts.

Regional Programme


Bidya Banmali Pradhan arrow

Programme Coordinator

Our focus

Improve air quality standards

ICIMOD’s Air Pollution Solutions Initiative improves local and regional air quality standards, helps ensure economic benefits for communities, and helps reduce adverse impacts on health by improving regional and international coordination and information sharing.

We have been the lead partner for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Brick Production Initiative and a lead implementer of the Clean Brick Initiative of the Department for International Development (DFID) in Nepal. The brickmaking process is highly energy- and labour-intensive and releases huge amounts of black carbon into the atmosphere, affecting health and visibility, and accelerating the melting of Himalayan snow and ice.

In South Asia, bricks are produced primarily through processes of hand-molding and baking in fixed chimney bull’s trench kilns (FCBTKs). In recent years, mechanized brick making plants and other varieties of kilns – such as tunnel kilns, the Hoffman kiln, the modified FCBTK, the zig-zag, and the vertical shaft brick kiln (VSBK) – have been introduced and have various trade-offs in terms of productivity and emissions.

Featured publication

Drawing and construction guidelines: Natural draught zig-zag kilns

This construction drawing and guideline document is an output of the design manual and is based on the structural designs of natural and induced draught zig-zag kilns proposed therein. The aim of this document is to provide step-by-step guidance in the construction of such kilns so that they are structurally safe, earthquake-resistant, energy efficient, low on emissions, worker-friendly, and produce better quality bricks.

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Improved Fixed Chimney Project at R.K Brick Industry.

News and features

Around the HKH

What's happening in the region in relation to air pollution

Events around the HKH

Did you know?

The 120,000 brick kilns scattered across South Asia release huge amounts of greenhouse gases and black carbon into the atmosphere. Commonly known as soot, black carbon is the second biggest global warming pollutant after carbon dioxide; it affects health and visibility and accelerates the melting of Himalayan snow and ice.

Improved Fixed Chimney Project at R.K Brick Industry.

For mountains and people

We have a deep history of work across a broad range of issues enabling sustainable development in the complex environment of the HKH. We have been protecting the pulse for over three decades.

Air Quality

Air quality

When most people think of air in the context of the environment, they probably think of air pollution – and that’s part of the picture. But air is a dynamic and delicate mix of chemicals in constant motion, flowing from place to place through atmospheric circulation systems.

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Climate change

Mountains may be rugged and majestic, but they’re also fragile environments that are particularly vulnerable to climate change.

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Air Pollution Solutions Initiative in the media

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Air Pollution Solutions publications

You will find publications produced by or related to this Initiative in our publications repository – the HimalDoc. These information materials covers journal articles, books, book chapters, research reports, working papers, brochures, information sheets, and publicity materials including posters and flyers.

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We embrace diversity

Meet the team

Both internally and externally, our multicultural staff and partners are our greatest asset. They provide us with a broad perspective across disciplines, and offer us localized knowledge like no other.

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Bidya Banmali Pradhan

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Air Pollution Solutions Initiative

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About Air Pollution Solutions Initiative
About Air Pollution Solutions Initiative
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Air pollution solutions
Air pollution solutions
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