U.S. EPA C5+1 Workshop Encourages Regional Cooperation to Improve Air Pollution Monitoring

December 4, 2020 – From December 2-3, 2020 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), with support from the U.S. Embassies in Nur-Sultan and Bishkek, convened a C5+1 collaborative workshop on air quality monitoring network development with Central Asian countries. Participants in the virtual workshop included government representatives for hydrometeorology and air quality monitoring from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. 

During the two-day workshop, U.S. air quality experts shared best practices on establishing air quality monitoring networks in Central Asia. Participants also worked together on a monitoring network case study exercise based on real conditions in an urban environment.  In August 2020, U.S. EPA, U.S. Embassy Nur-Sultan, and the Secretariat of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) conducted a five-day workshop on a wide range of air quality management topics, including estimation of pollutant emissions, analysis of health effects, a technical overview of the U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI), and strategies on public communication of air quality information. Both workshops aim to strengthen regional partnership and inter-government cooperation on air quality management in Central Asia.  

The United States is committed to partnering with host governments in Central Asia to develop policies of environmental stewardship and air quality management. U.S. Embassies in Central Asia have been monitoring and publishing real-time air quality data since 2019. In the last five years, the U.S. Government has provided approximately $750,000 in grant funding for air quality projects in Central Asia.  In September 2020, the U.S. State Department awarded a $300,000 grant to the youth-led environmental organization MoveGreen to improve air quality monitoring networks in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The three-year project will be in collaboration with KyrgyzHydromet, KazakhHydromet, UNEP, and the U.S. Embassies in Bishkek and Nur-Sultan.