Air pollution reaches hazardous level in Kathmandu

Air pollution in Kathmandu, file photo.

KATHMANDU, Nepal-Atmospheric composition in Nepal is changing, notably more rapidly over the last decade due to increasing emission of air pollutants and greenhouse gases both inside and outside the country.

Air pollution has reached hazardous level in many parts of the country, especially in cities like Kathmandu.

Therefore, to deepen atmospheric research, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) held a discussion on ‘High Level Update on Atmospheric Research in Nepal’ recently in Kathmandu.

Speaking at the meeting, Chief Dr Som Lal Subedi, Secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology stressed the need for collaborative and coordinated research in the field of atmosphere and environment in Nepal.

On the occasion, representatives from Department of Environment, Department of Hydrology and Department of Transport Management  and ICIMOD discussed the needs, opportunities, and challenges, including regulatory and policy requirements for coordinated atmospheric research in Nepal.

Recent global assessments and local studies indicate that air pollution is linked to several thousand premature deaths and a substantial amount of crop loss every year in Nepal.

With the country’s rapid growth, problems associated with air pollution are only expected to worsen, especially if policies and practices are not steered towards supporting widespread and early implementation of solutions that are firmly grounded in science and based on local specifics.

New analyses show that fast and widespread implementation of already available air pollution control measures would cost-effectively save human lives, increase agricultural productivity, reduce atmospheric warming, and also help address other socio-economic and developmental challenges that stem from air pollution.

The benefits of air pollution control are greatest in and near areas where emissions are reduced, with substantial benefits that also extend to the rest of the world.

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