• KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 5

Central Asian Countries Gather to Share Air Pollution Solutions

On June 19th a political and regional forum was organized in Tashkent under the slogan “Building a Clean Air Future in Central Asia”. The forum was organized in partnership with the Uzbek Ministry of Ecology, the World Bank, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Participants included senior officials from the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The forum was created to allow the countries of Central Asia to exchange knowledge on how to prevent air pollution. Air quality in both urban and rural areas is affected by transboundary pollution, caused by emissions from burning fossil fuels in industry, the heating sector, and transport. Another source of pollution in cities is sand and dust storms. Most air quality-related illnesses and premature deaths in Central Asia are attributable to delicate particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM2.5). Their concentration in large cities is often several times higher than the permissible air quality parameters recommended by the World Health Organization. This is especially noticeable during winter, when the heating sector uses coal and gas for power. According to the IQAir portal, which monitors global air quality, Central Asian cities are often among the most polluted cities in the world. The participants at “Building a Clean Air Future in Central Asia” studied each other's measures and practices in air quality management. They then defined some priority directions for accelerating regional cooperation on these issues. Valerie Hickey, the World Bank's global director for environment, natural resources and the blue economy, commented: “Air quality management is a complex challenge that requires understanding where the pollution comes from and prioritizing actions in those sectors. This will take better data and stronger regulations harmonized across borders, credible institutions, and clean infrastructure. Working together, the countries can clean the air across Central Asia.” Sylvie Motar, deputy director of the European office of the UNEP, added: “Air pollution knows no borders, so cooperation between Central Asian countries in this area is essential. This dialogue will help increase investments in clean air to protect the health of the people of Central Asia.”

Bishkek Bets on Bikes and Buses

To alleviate congestion and traffic bottlenecks in the capital, the Bishkek Mayor's Office has green-lit a strategic plan for enhancing the city's road transport infrastructure over the 2024-2030 period. This initiative, as detailed on the municipal website, encompasses an ambitious range of projects. Highlights include the construction of bridges and new road junctions, the introduction of bike lanes within the road network, the consolidation of dedicated lanes into a coherent system, the expansion of parking facilities including an increase in bicycle parking spaces, and the establishment of transport hubs and park-and-ride lots. The vision driving these efforts is to significantly reduce car dependency in Bishkek, promoting instead a robust network of public and bicycle transport options. Plans are underway to construct seven park-and-ride facilities around the city’s perimeter, encouraging commuters to opt for public transport upon entering Bishkek. City officials have consistently advocated for strategies to lower rampant smog levels and congestion, including proposals to limit private car access into the city based on a vehicle's license plate number. Furthermore, the Mayor's Office announced plans to establish at least two advanced transport and transfer hubs at key entry points into Bishkek. These hubs will serve as critical junctions for intercity and regional bus routes, facilitating seamless connections with the city's public transport system. By 2030, these initiatives aim to achieve a 20% reduction in car usage within the city and cut congestion by 30%.

U.S. Government Discusses Data From Air Quality Monitor at Tashkent Embassy

On April 22, a press conference was held at the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan with American air quality specialist and researcher Jay Turner speaking to media representatives about the air quality monitoring device installed at the embassy in Tashkent in 2018. According to Turner, the device monitors the concentration of air particles every hour: data is taken every 53 minutes, the remaining seven minutes are spent analyzing it, and the results are compared to the previous hour. Devices recently installed by Uzhydromet also monitor air quality hourly, and their data is roughly similar to that recorded at the U.S. Embassy. However, there are aspects that should be taken into account when comparing the results, says Turner. “It is required to follow certain protocols during the monitoring process. The equipment at the embassy follows these protocols, which I have checked myself. If we assume that Uzhydromet follows these protocols and submits its reports, it can be said that it will be the same as our data,” he said. Turner mentioned that work is currently underway to determine the differences between the monitoring devices. “To find an answer to this question, the U.S. State Department has allocated grant funds to Duke University and plans to install inexpensive air quality monitoring sensors throughout Tashkent. A portion of them has already been installed,” he stated.

Automatic Air Pollution Monitoring Stations Installed Across Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s meteorological agency Uzhydromet in collaboration with the Zamin International Public Foundation, is to implement additional automation of monitoring of atmospheric air pollution. During the first stage of the project in 2021, two German-made automatic air pollution monitoring stations were installed in Tashkent. In 2023, as part of the second stage, automatic stations went into operation in the cities of Gulistan, Jizzakh, Samarkand, Urgench, Nukus, and Termez. This year, further stations have been installed in Andijan, Namangan, Fergana, Navoi, Bukhara, Karshi, Nurafshan, and Tashkent. On March 24th, The Uzbek Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change reported on a press tour organized by Uzhydromet and the Zamin Foundation of the new automatic air pollution monitoring station in Tashkent. The station registers such pollutants as fine dispersed particles PM10 and PM2.5, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and ozone. At the event, Khurshid Tashpolatov, head of department at Uzhydromet, stated, “The station works online and transmits data on air quality within a radius of 5 km to the server every 10 minutes, every hour. Information on atmospheric air pollution is received by Uzhydromet, compiled into a single database, and published on the public platform monitoring.meteo.uz.” Air monitoring data is published by Uzhydromet on social networks at 9:00 am and 18:00 pm daily.

Smog in Bishkek Decreases by 10-15%

Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision has announced that smog in Bishkek has decreased by at least 10-15% resulting from the government's efforts to improve the air quality in the capital city. Welcome news at a time when pollution had reached a critical level. In recent years, IQAIR has frequently ranked Bishkek among the worst cities in the world for the highest levels of air pollution. The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) brief, “Tackling Air Pollution in Bishkek: A Road Map to Cleaner Air,” released in November 2023, stated that air pollution in Bishkek exceeded the WHO air quality guidelines by up to 30 times in winter. The brief referenced several studies on the main sources of air pollution. A UNICEF report showed PM2.5 concentrations are highest where households rely on coal for heating, in areas around the city's coal-fired thermal power plant and where solid waste is burned. UNDP-UNEP similarly cited coal as the primary source of pollution, followed by road transport. Transport was estimated by ADB to contribute around a third of annual emissions, particularly diesel trucks and minibuses. In conclusion, the ADB report recommended that to arrest air pollution, top priority be given to phasing out coal and investing in clean public transport. According to government reports, in 2023, nine residential neighborhoods comprising over 14 thousand households were supplied with natural gas. Today, 31 of the 47 residential suburbs, previously reliant on coal for heating, are connected to gas. The ministry also stated that the Bishkek landfill, which had been burning for decades adding to the city’s air pollution woes, was completely extinguished last year. Its territory is currently being reclaimed, with 850 tree saplings planted so far on an area of 2.3 hectares. In addition, 850 new environmentally friendly buses running on liquefied gas have been purchased for Bishkek. Mild weather and heavy rainfall were contributory factors but the decrease in smog this winter bodes well for the city's environment.