‘Harness data to track air pollution’

Data should be made available in a common platform and be utilized toward achieving a common goal of clean air.

At a workshop on ‘Open data for policy formulation, decision making and citizen-government partnership to improve air quality’ Tuesday, speakers stressed that the local government has a huge responsibility of working at grassroot level and can play an active role toward effective implementation of the existing policies.

They also said that media has a role in presenting data in a form that can reach out to public and increase awareness regarding air pollution. There is a need to develop intergovernmental co-ordination and also develop horizontal approach of working mechanism so that responsibilities are shared which will lead to effective implementation of policies.

Ease of data accessibility and practice of data sharing will allow to properly assess the situation and adopt necessary measures to improve the quality of air.

The program was organized by Clean Energy Nepal in collaboration with US Embassy in Nepal with the objective to sensitize the government and multiple stakeholders on the importance of partnership and data based decisions when clean air policies are determined.

Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Bidya Sundar Shakya urged everyone to fulfill their individual responsibilities to make the air and the environment clean. “We are planning to introduce electric mass transit – Mono rail which will aid in reducing the traffic congestion and also significantly reduce air pollution level in Kathmandu Valley”, he said.

Regional Environment Officer for South Asia, Sara Litke from US Embassy in Nepal spoke of the need of investing in Clean Air focused on collaboration and information sharing for Air Quality Management.

Program Manager from Clean Energy Nepal Rajan Thapa presented the trend of air pollution and policy response for Nepal. Shankar Prasad Sharma from Department of Environment presented an overview of governmental initiatives for air quality monitoring and reporting in Nepal.

Sushil Sharma from Central Bureau of Statistics said, “Data are being generated from many sectors and the bureau has a key role in quality assurance, public accessibility and reliability of the data.”

The workshop was attended by more than 50 participants from several governmental bodies, local representatives, civil society organizations, formal and informal networks, media and individuals.



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