Swedish Money to Clean Asian Air

A major study conducted by the Stockholm Environment Institute’s (SEI) centre at the University in York and the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) shows that improvements in achieving better air quality in Asia have been achieved.
However air pollution still poses a great risk to the health and quality of life for many people in the region.
The Swedish government has decided to help Asians to better air quality. By granting extra funds worth $2.43 million an air quality management technical assistance project (TA) can be extended. Initially the project was backed by the government of Finland.
The TA has been working to establish air quality management systems, strengthen air quality management networks and boost air quality management systems.
And improved air quality is indeed needed. The World Health Organization estimates that each year in excess of half a million people in SEA and the Pacific suffer a premature death due to air pollution.
One of the biggest problems concerning air quality in Asia is the increasing number of motor vehicles. The rapidly increasing number of vehicles creates more pollution than the decrease achieved by regulating vehicle emission and fuel quality standards.
The SEI Study identifies cities like Bangkok and Singapore to have excellent capability to manage air quality. Ho Chi Min City and Jakarta are said to have moderate capability in air quality management, while cities like Hanoi and Surabaya have to meet the biggest challenges in managing the air quality.
Dr. Dieter Schwela of the SEI has a piece of advice:
“The study has shown that there is a great opportunity for those cities which need to develop further their air quality management capability to learn from cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo that are further along the road to achieving better air quality.”

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