• Ms. Antoinette Taus, UNEP National Goodwill Ambassador for the Philippines
• Mr. Ali Akeem, Head, World Health Organization (WHO) Asia-Pacific Centre for Environment and Health in the Western Pacific Region
• Mr. Wonho Yang, President of Korean Society of Environmental Health
• Ms. Martina Otto, Head of Secretariat, Climate and Clean Air Coalition
• Ms. Oyun Sanjaasuren, Director of External Affairs, Green Climate Fund
• Mr. Tappei Tsutsumi, Director, Office of International Cooperation in Air and Water Quality Management, Ministry of Environment, Japan
• Ms. Siwaporn Rungsiyanon, Director of Transboundary Air Pollution Subdivision, Pollution Control Department, Thailand
• Mr. Frank Hammes, CEO, IQAir
• Mr. Sungchul Seo, Professor, Seokyeong University
Polluted air is creating a health emergency. Air pollution remains as one of the world’s largest environmental threats to human health. There is an urgent need to increase investment in and implement evidence-based policies which support clean energy and industry, sustainable mobility, better municipal waste management and sustainable agricultural practices. These efforts will reduce air pollution, support climate action, and help achieve other development goals.
Strengthened international cooperation and collective action is also critical to turn the tide on air pollution. At a global level, there is no international legal framework on air quality. But there is growing recognition of the important role of international and regional cooperation to address air pollution. The World Health Organization (WHO)’s air quality guidelines provide the primary evidence-based global guidance on air quality. In 2021, WHO released updated health-based guidelines, tightening the guidelines for air pollutants based on the evidence of health impacts at even lower concentrations than previously known.
This session will provide an overview of the 2021 air quality guidelines by the World Health Organization and what it means for Asia and the Pacific. It will feature practical and effective multisectoral clean air solutions to improve air quality, protect people’s health, contribute to a stable climate, and help achieve the sustainable development agenda. It will build understanding on the importance of collective action to accelerate clean air efforts. It will reflect on the opportunities and identify the elements that should be considered to strengthen regional collaboration efforts to help address air pollution in Asia and the Pacific.