Clean air is an important prerequisite for sustainable economic development and is a basic requirement for public welfare. However, Pakistan is faced with the challenge to address deteriorating urban air quality, due to economic growth, migration and urban sprawl. The Economic Survey of Pakistan 2005-06 stated that air pollution levels in Pakistan’s most populated cities are among the highest in the world and are soaring, causing serious health impacts amongst other things.
To build technical capacity and improve awareness on AQM issues of relevant government departments, civil society organization, academia and media, a four-day training course on AQM and climate change was organized in Lahore, Pakistan, from October 20-23, 2008. The event was jointly funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE), Department for International Development (DFID) and CAI-Asia Centre. Trainers from Stockholm Environment Institute, CAI-Asia Centre, Aga Khan University and Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission imparted training and enriched the participants with contextual as well as internationally acclaimed experiences. Topics covered in the course include: enforcement of AQM policies, air quality monitoring, analyzing of monitored data, and using data for decision making to improve air quality. The course set the platform for internalizing AQM aspect of climate change response in sectoral plans, at a national level. It also set footing for collaborative endeavors that are required for integrated sustainable development.
Course Trainers and Participants, Lahore
However, to address the air pollution problem on a much larger scale, Pakistan’s institutional capacity needs to be strengthened further and policies need to be put in place. Moreover, the country needs to formulate ambient air quality standards and enhance capacity on use of basic AQM best practice and polices in provinces. This will contribute to national cooperation in addressing urban air quality.
Visit to fixed air quality monitoring station, Lahore