Air pollution has a large impact on human health and ecosystems and is the most important global environmental cause of premature deaths. The latest update of the WHO Air Quality Guidelines (2021) states that 7 million people worldwide annually die prematurely of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases that are attributable to ambient and household air pollution. The greatest number (two-thirds) of these premature deaths occurred in the South-East Asian and Western Pacific regions (as defined by the WHO), which can be attributed to the rapid economical and industrial and urban growth in these areas.
The Asia Pacific region’s economic growth and rapid urbanization have been accompanied by a strong increase in air pollution. To overcome some of these barriers, member States of ESCAP have adopted, at the 7th session of the ESCAP Committee on Environment and Development, the Asia-Pacific Regional Action Programme on Air Pollution (RAPAP), which covers improving air quality management, facilitating air quality monitoring, sharing open data, exchanging best practice, supporting capacity building and mobilizing multilateral cooperation. In support of actions, the RAPAP underlines opportunities of strengthening and leveraging existing multilateral cooperation initiatives and their relevant scientific committees. The RAPAP also recommends formally involving national experts in scientific and technical activities including through a Technical Expert Group, and engaging major groups and other stakeholders.
In this regard, the forum is focused on operationalizing the RAPAP through further elaborating areas and modality of cooperation, strengthening connections among existing subregional initiatives, and creating a foundation of knowledge and expertise.
Purpose and Objectives
- Present the RAPAP to multilateral, regional and national stakeholders for strengthening science-based and policy-oriented cooperation for improved air quality management
- Further elaborate the areas and modality of policy and technical cooperation of the RAPAP
- Develop partnership activities among multilateral and international cooperation mechanisms on air pollution in support of national action on clean air
- Discuss contribution of the RAPAP to the work of multilateral and international cooperation mechanisms
- Formulate the modality of working groups on data and air quality standards
- Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia
- United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asian and the Pacific (ESCAP)
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
In collaboration with North-East Asia Clean Air Partnership (NEACAP) and Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET)
- High-level representatives from governments
- National experts
- Representatives from multilateral and subregional mechanisms and academic networks on air pollution
- Experts from research, academic institutions, CSOs and other stakeholder groups