Back to news
20 Nov 2018 | Atmosphere Initiative

Valley Mayors Commit to Clean Valley Air

As winter sets in, air pollution in Kathmandu Valley is re-emerging as the biggest environmental challenge it faces, presenting a daily struggle for its citizens. Elected authorities of the local government are under intense pressure to address this complex problem.

Air pollution in the valley can be significantly reduced with coordinated action based on scientific evidence. To facilitate such action, Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in collaboration with Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Lalitpur Metropolitan City, hosted a Mayors’ Summit on Air Pollution on 25 October 2018.

2 mins Read

70% Complete

The two-hour event included experts’ briefings on the current scientific understanding of air pollution, on the possible solutions that municipalities can implement, and on the regulatory framework within which the municipalities can work. Speaking at the programme, Chiri Babu Maharjan, Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City said, “In a span of 20 years, Mexico City has gone from being among the most polluted cities to among the most livable ones. This can be a major lesson for us in the Kathmandu Valley.”

A major highlight of the programme was when Melba Pria, the Ambassador of Mexico to India, shared with participants relevant experiences from Mexico City. Mexico City is geographically very similar to the Kathmandu Valley – a bowl shaped valley with multiple municipalities. Twenty years ago, its air quality was the worst in the world, but the city has since made remarkable improvements. Ambassador Pria spoke about how this was achieved, providing inspiration for similar efforts in Kathmandu. She said “Change is possible. In 1992, WHO reported just 8 good air quality days in Mexico City, the corresponding number in 2012 was 248 days! This did not happen overnight. Between 2008 and 2012, 72 municipalities worked closely at local, federal, and central levels to transform approaches in industries, transportation, the emission standards, and public perceptions. Coordination at all levels was very important in the course of developing public policies, and decisions were always based on solid scientific data.”

The representatives of the Kathmandu valley municipalities have committed to work together in coordination with central and provincial governments for clean air and related issues. As the next step, the recently formed Integrated Municipal Level Coordination Council with representation from all18 municipalities are to work together for air quality management in the Kathmandu Valley. The mayors have pledged to initiate dialogue around seven priority points, and to further develop them into an action-oriented Declaration for Clean Air upon which all municipalities can act upon:

Mayors, Deputy Mayors, and the Chiefs of the Environment Divisions of the 18 Municipalities in Kathmandu Valley, representatives from central governmental bodies, key stakeholders, and media participated in the programme.

 

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

related content

Continue exploring this topic

22 Sep 2015 News
SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) and private sector engagement in climate change

The SAARC region is one of the most densely populated and ecologically vulnerable regions in the world housing more than 40 percent ...

17 Nov 2015 News
SAARC Business Arm Partners with ICIMOD on Climate Change

  The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ...

26 Jul 2018 Solar Pumps
Fifty-three Solar-powered Irrigation Pumps Operational in Four Districts of Nepal

The pumps were installed by the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) with support from the Australian Department of ...

1 Jun 2018 KDKH
Knowledge hub proposed for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Koshi basin

As part of a wider effort between Nepal, India, and China to strengthen disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the Koshi ...

30 Oct 2018 Cryosphere
Collaborative research on the Ponkar Glacier with Kathmandu University

The team conducted measurements at the lower parts of the glacier to quantify ice melt amount under debris layers and ...

17 Aug 2018 HUC
Yunnan University Hosts Second HUC Water Group Meeting

Established in November 2017, the Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) Thematic Working Group on Water (Water Group) is a regional initiative ...

17 Nov 2016 News
ICIMOD Party to Beijing Declaration on the Belt and Road Initiative

The First International Science Forum of National Scientific Organizations on the Belt and Road Initiative was held in Beijing, China ...

Koshi resource book focusing on ecosystems, water management, and governance launched

We recently launched a resource book – The Koshi River Basin: Insights into biophysical, socioeconomic, and governance ...