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ESCAP Environment and Development Division


Many countries of Asia and the Pacific face increasing air pollution due to various factors, including industrial expansion and economic growth undertaken in an unsustainable manner, large-scale farming practices which involve crop burning, and a growing use of motor vehicles.  Poor air quality has a detrimental impact on health and results in economic losses.  For example, nearly 1.1 billion total life years were lost in Southeast Asia due to high levels of particulate pollution in 2021[1].

ESCAP is implementing a project on operationalizing the Asia-Pacific Regional Action Programme on Air Pollution (RAPAP), including through the establishment of Working Groups on Data and Air Quality Standards, respectively. The project seeks to build a foundation of knowledge and expertise to support the acceleration of policies and practices to address air pollution and achieve air quality across the region that meets World Health Organization guidelines. The project will leverage and strengthen connections among existing subregional initiatives to enhance exchange of knowledge and best practices and identify key capacity gaps for further technical assistance. In this context, a brief overview of these various initiatives will be provided for the Working Groups to consider when building a more detailed plan of future activities to support the review of standards and data across the region. 

[1] University of Chicago, Air Quality Life Index 2023 Annual Update, Available at: https://aqli.epic.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/AQLI_2023_Report-Global_v03.5_indiaview_spreads.pdf

United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC - BKK), Bangkok City, Thailand
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