"Mongolian Climate Change and Air Pollution" presentation by Bat-Erdene Togooch, Vice Mayor of Ulaanbaatar.

"Reinforcement of Air Quality Management Focusing on PM-2.5" presentation by Kang Hee-eun, Director of Climate Change and Air Quality Management Division, Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Northeast Asian cities seek ways to improve urban and transnational air quality

Cities across Northeast Asia are facing air pollution – an issue that at times receives less attention that it should due to its “invisibility” and slow-onset impacts on health and livelihoods. To raise awareness among policymakers and find solutions to improve air quality in the region, the Northeast Asian International Seminar on Air Quality Improvement was held in Seoul, South Korea on 17 October 2013.

Hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment and ICLEI East Asia Secretariat, the seminar featured presentations from Chinese, Japanese and Korean experts, including a presentation of a Sino-Japanese technical cooperation project to improve air quality in Xian City, China by Hiroyuki Hashimoto, program manager of ICLEI Japan Office.

The transnational nature of air pollution, and the need for cross-country cooperation to improve air quality, is one of the keynotes mentioned by almost all speakers at the seminar. Citing Seoul as an example, experts explain how the air quality of cities in the region is interdependent on neighbouring countries. While Seoul’s air quality is dependent on that of China, China’s air quality is in turn partially influenced by Goby sand storms originating from Mongolia.

Serving as a platform for sharing know-how, the seminar also provided valuable information on cities’ current air quality situation and their experiences in facing these challenges. For instance, Vice Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia presented a case study on climate change and air pollution in Mongolia, while Beijing, Tianjin, Xian (China), Kitakyushu (Japan) and Seoul (Korea) introduced participants the situation of air quality in their cities and provided examples of how they tackle it with air quality regulations. 

EN | KR | JP | CN