JICA Research Institute

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Final Report on ”A Study on Urban Air Pollution Improvement in Asia”

Urban air pollution is a topic that has received significant attention worldwide due to its negative impact on health and society. Related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include Target 3.9 (‘good health and well-being’), Target 9.4 (‘industry, innovation, and infrastructures’), and Target 11.9 (‘sustainable cities and communities’).*

This report is based on a joint project carried out by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), and the Asia Center for Air Pollution Research (ACAP). The aim of the project was to examine the particulate matter (PM) levels and composition, the ambient concentrations of acidic gases, and the ionic components of rainwater for one inner-city and one suburban area in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR).

The obtained data confirm that the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), at least during the dry season, fail to meet both Thailand’s environmental standards and benchmarks set down by World Health Organization guidelines. Results also show that the average fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM>2.5) particulate concentrations in the suburban area are no lower than those in the inner-city area. The emission inventory also identifies the relationship between PMs and multiple pollution sources, including traffic and open burning (OB).

These findings provide evidence for future policy making aimed at improving air quality. Results indicate that the PM model simulation should be conducted over the entire year to capture the full range of seasonal variations. The simulation could be utilized for analyzing the impacts of emission reduction on air quality and health, as well as the co-benefit of reducing the rate of climate change.

* Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals; and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation
Target 9.4: By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies, and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
Target 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality, and municipal and other waste management.

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