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17 Mar 2015 | Air pollution solutions

Workshop to improve brick kiln policy and technologies

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A workshop on Brick Kilns Policy and Advocacy Network (PAN) was jointly organized by Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) from 18 to 20 February 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The workshop sought to identify and disseminate sound practices and technologies of brick making.

Brick production is a major source of black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). Asian countries account for 90% of the 1.5 trillion bricks produced every year. The workshop aimed to improve brick kiln policy by taking into account the economic, technological, environmental, and social context of each country and setting up a plan to take PAN forward. It was noted that emissions could be reduced by 10-15% by using more efficient technologies, mainly during the firing of bricks.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Chandra Maharjan, a Constituent Assembly member who is also a brick kiln entrepreneur, stressed the need to encourage the public to use bricks produced from cleaner kilns by introducing policies like annual home tax refunds. The workshop provided a platform for exploring effective policies and sharing experiences of implementing efficient energies in the brick sector in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Participants discussed regulatory frameworks for devising effective policies for transforming the brick-making sector in the three target regions, as well as identified experts from India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh willing to join the network.

About 50 participants, including brick experts, government officials, representatives of international organizations, brick kiln owners and media representatives attended the conference.

A day trip to a brick kiln in Shwet Bhairab Itta at Bhaktapur (fixed chimney zigzag kiln) and Shree Satya Narayan Brick Factory (vertical shaft brick kiln) at Imadol was also organized as part of the workshop.

The PAN Asia is being implemented by ICIMOD, and will be a key CCAC component for supporting four HKH countries – Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan – in developing comprehensive national strategies for cleaner brick production through regional consultation with stakeholders and technical experts from Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Nepal. The consultation process will identify available and suitable regulatory frameworks to help devise effective policies and/or policy implementation approaches for transforming the Asian brick-making sector.

PAN Asia will support national stakeholders to develop national strategy and policy frameworks for each of the countries, taking into account their unique social, political, market, and resource conditions.

Further, it will identify analyse existing brick kiln technologies and identify policy gaps in each country being represented, including Nepal, Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. It will also allow the countries to learn about the effective brick kiln policies and efficient energy initiatives that are being implemented across Asia, Latin America and Africa.

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