Lanka’s air quality ‘moderate’

The air quality in Sri Lanka is moderate, a report on the air quality of eight piloted cities sponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and submitted at the Better Air Quality (BAQ) Conference in Suntec Singapore on Tuesday said.

 Sixty percent of 230 surveyed Asian cities had annual average concentrations of particulate matter (PM10) in 2008 that did not meet World Health Organization air quality interim targets and only one percent met the annual guideline.

 Eight of these cities were given an opportunity to significantly improve their management of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, through the application of the Clean Air Scorecard, as presented at the Better Air Quality (BAQ) Conference at Suntec Singapore.

 The Clean Air Scorecard, developed by the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) with support from the Asian Development Bank, is a practical assessment tool for cities to identify their strengths and potential improvement areas in addressing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The tool is composed of three indexes: Air Pollution and Health Index, Clean Air Management Capacity Index, and Policies and Action Index. These generate an overall clean air score for a city ranging from excellent to minimal.

 Results presented at the BAQ conference showed that five of the piloted cities obtained an overall clean air score of ‘good:’ Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta, Jinan and Manila. The other three pilot cities - Colombo, Hangzhou, and Kathmandu - scored ‘moderate.’ While none of the surveyed cities received a ‘minimal’ score, neither did any of them score ‘excellent,’ showing there is ample room for improvement.

 "ADB recognizes that climate change mitigation coupled with air quality strategies is necessary in order to meet a lot of our developmental objectives, like the region’s sustained economic growth, the MDGs, and poverty alleviation. The BAQ Conference offers good opportunities to deepen our understanding of the linkage between air pollution and climate change and how we can do this with the help of the Clean Air Scorecard," said Nessim J. Ahmad, Director, Environment and Safeguard Division concurrently Practice Leader (Environment), ADB. (ER)

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