Minister says air pollution emerges major source of environmental degradation in Asia

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ISLAMABAD : Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan said air pollution has emerged over the years as one of the major sources of environmental degradation in Asia compromising the quality of living environment standards.

Addressing the participants of Ministerial Dialogue solutions landscape for clean air during 2018 Asia Pacific Clean air Partnership Joint Forum Bankok, Thailand, he said air pollution has no boundaries as pollutants can be mile across state and national boundaries therefore pollutants produced by one country can have adverse impacts on other countries, said a press release received on Thursday.

He further highlighted that Pakistan is experiencing winter smog which engulf vast area, thus cause loss to life and economy. This wither smog is primarily due to burning of agriculture residue and non-conforming industrial processes.

He further added while addressing most serious issue of air quality in Pakistan is the presence of excessive suspended particulate matter present in the ambient air.

The major sources of Suspended Particulate Matter are vehicles, industry, burning of solid wastes, brick kilns and natural dust.

According to World Bank urban air particulate pollution is estimated to cause around 22,000 premature deaths among young children. Burning of municipal solid wastes is another source of air pollution.

Almost 54000 tons of solid wastes generate every day, most of which is either dumped in low-lying areas or burnt. Incomplete combustion of solid waste leads to release of toxic and carcinogenic pollutants.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan further highlighted that government of Pakistan have taken various initiatives including, environmental friendly policies and introduction of mass transit system in major cities of Pakistan.

He further added that government of Pakistan has taken significant steps in improving air quality. These steps include introduction of unleaded gasoline, reduction of sulphur in diesel that is now Euro 2 compliant, continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations in federal and provincial capital cities, national environmental quality standards for industrial gaseous emissions and establishment of Solid Waste Management Companies to effectively address solid waste management.

He further said that coal fire power plants being established in the country are based on super-critical steam type of boiler that operates at super critical pressure. He also highlighted that Pakistan is part of regional initiatives called “Male declaration on control of Trans boundary Air Pollution”.

Building on the momentum of the regions’ response to implement the United Nations Environment Assembly Resolution on Air Quality and as a follow up to the 2015 Joint Forum, the 2018 Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership Joint Forum is being organized as part of long week long programme under the theme Solutions Landscape for clean Air.

The 2018 Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership Joint Forum will provide an opportunity to provide progress on implementation of the 2014 UN Environment Assembly resolution in Asia and the Pacific on air quality including the Asia Pacific Clean air Partnership since 2015 joint forum.

It will also discuss and share the latest science, evidence and impacts of air pollution. This forum will also share and exchange practical and innovative solutions at the national and local level, featuring policy, finance and technology and develop a plan for the Asia Pacific Clean air Partnership Joint Forum to implement the UN Environment Assembly resolution on air quality in the region.

Orignally published by NNI

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