Press Release

Regional Cooperation for Better Air Quality in West Asia

05 September 2023

Beirut, 5 September 2023 – Countries in West Asia region recommended the establishment of a Regional Air Quality Network for West Asia and requested UNEP to assess the status of air quality management and identity work priorities for the network as the first phase. The Network will compliment other networks that have already been established across regions in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe.

Marking the international day for Clean Air and recognizing the need for a coordinated approach in the region, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) organised the “Regional Cooperation for Better Air Quality in West Asia” consultation workshop in Jordan on 3 and 4 September and brought together representatives from ministries of environment and health from the region.

The UN Environment Programme Representative and Regional Director for West Asia Sami Dimassi stated that: “We all share the same need to breathe air of adequate quality. Informed decision-making and implementation of effective measures based on science-policy dialogues are key to improve air quality in the region. This network will be a platform for sharing information, knowledge and best practices across the region and fostering a coordinated approach for air quality management in West Asia.” 

Air pollution is a transboundary issue and remains a threat to human health and the environment. In addition to human-caused emissions generated mainly from the energy, industry and transport sectors in most cities, the West Asia region is highly impacted by the natural emissions of the sand and dust storms.

West Asia countries have made progress in setting and implementing policies to improve air quality at the national level. However, facing the challenge of unhealthy air quality and its management requires a more consolidated regional and global coordination for durable solutions.

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