NILU establishes air quality monitoring stations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
The Convention for Long-Range Transport of Air Pollution (CLRTAP) has 51 Parties covering most of Europe, Central Asia and North America. Regional cooperation on air pollution has proven to be successful in the UNECE region, in particular within the framework of the Convention for Long-Range Transport of Air Pollution (CLRTAP).
However, efforts need to be made to assist new Parties to implement the Convention and to make it possible for more countries to ratify and implement the Convention and its protocols. Central Asia remains to be fully engaged. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan ratified the Convention in 2001 and 2000 respectively, but neither has yet acceded to any of the Convention’s protocols. In the mean time plans have been developed to increase the reliance on coal for energy generation, which is likely to contribute to increased air pollution.
Assistance has been needed to upgrade and test one station of air pollution monitoring in Central Asia as a link between the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmissions of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) and the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET); and to establish cooperation on air pollution monitoring and evaluation between Central Asia on the one hand, and Europe and Asia on the other.
Other countries in the region is also important because of its huge size and high emissions of air pollutant. More monitoring is needed to better quantify the air quality in the region and to better understand the hemispheric transport in Asia and Europe.
With support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNECE NILU is presently establishing EMEP sites in Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia. One representative site in each country has been selected, and procurement of field and lab equipment has been done. These projects are very focused on establishing good monitoring routines to ensure high quality data. Experts from all countries have visited NILU in order to undergo the necessary training. Hands on training in the field and laboratory, and routines to quality assure and report data to international bodies like EMEP and WMO/GAW have been essential elements in the training programmes.