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Discussing Household Air Pollution at Better Air Quality Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka
More than 1000 delegates from different organizations participated in the Better Air Quality Conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka during 19-21 November, 2014. This conference, first organized in 2002, is one of the major international events that focuses on improving air quality in Asia. The conference was organized in collaboration/partnership with a number of leading agencies such as Asian Development Bank, Clean Air Asia, World Bank Group, Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenrbeit (GIZ) and Government of Sri Lanka. The GIZ programme for Poverty-oriented Basic Energy Services (HERA), organized a pre-event “Household Air Pollution (HAP) Effects on Health and Climate Change” and a panel discussion “Household Air Pollution - the silent killer” in the main event.
Household Air Pollution – Effects on Health and Climate Change, Pre-event, 18th November, 2014
The pre-event was held to raise awareness on household air pollution and its effects on health and environment, and to discuss the policy and implementation level challenges in addressing the issue of household air pollution (HAP). Three panels set the context for addressing household air pollution in the light of recently released WHO guidelines for indoor air quality and provided a platform to have detailed discussion on experiences of different Asian countries in addressing HAP.
The panellists comprehensively established that the impact of HAP is alarming on health and environment and there is a need to adopt innovative approaches and further improve the technologies such as clean cooking devices that have potential to solve the problem. It was also evident from the discussions that there are lessons and experiences within each country that could benefit the entire region and that more interactions are needed to do so. The experts from different implementing organizations concluded that more research and evidence based initiatives, as well as understanding of behavioural dimensions of users, are needed to develop better implementation strategies. The panels consisted of experts and representatives from the Climate And Clean Air Coalition, GIZ, Government of Sri Lanka, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, SolarAid, ICIMOD, RTI, World Health Organizations (WHO), World LPG Association.
Household Air Pollution - the silent killer, Panel Discussion, 20th November, 2014
GIZ organized the panel discussion to raise awareness about the critical importance of addressing HAP. It aimed at identifying the key factor responsible for the Household Air Pollution and highlighted the ways it can be addressed. The panel consisted of representatives from WHO, Government of Sri Lanka, GIZ and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
The new WHO guidelines recommend that coal and kerosene should not be used as a fuel for lighting or cooking in the households and households should move to clean options for cooking and lighting such as LPG and biogas stoves, improved cookstoves and solar lights. Representatives from the Sri Lankan government, presenting their initiatives on HAP, demanded more support from international NGOs, researchers and scientist in order to act more informed and effectively. The panel discussed how existing technologies can be made cleaner and more effective and how various technologies could be made available and affordable to more households.
Please refer to the following webpages for information on the agenda, presentations and documentation: