TASHKENT – Uzbek national experts, representatives of ministries and regional administrations were trained and learned from the EU experience on air quality management as part of the EU’s tailor-made support to Central Asia (CA) on environmental project preparation. The training is organised by the EU-funded project WECOOP and aims to assist Uzbekistan in improving its air quality monitoring and management capabilities.
According to Uzhydromet, the average concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matters (PM) in the atmosphere of the main cities of Uzbekistan in many cases regularly exceeded the permissible exposure limitations over the past 5 year. This may seriously affect the central nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and reproductive systems of humans and cause headache, anxiety, breathing problems, lung cancer, and other diseases. The sources of pollution in Uzbekistan are mostly man-made and include transport, fuel combustion, including individual heating systems, dust storms, industry, agriculture, and waste disposal at landfills.
Since 1970s, the EU has achieved a considerable progress in air quality management by improving the fuel quality, controlling emissions and integrating the environmental standards into the transport and energy fields. The EU provides the financial and technical assistance to different countries in the world, including to Central Asian states, to help them improve the national legislation and air quality management systems. During the two-day training, the participants discussed air quality management principles and standards, as well as industrial and urban air pollution dispersion models.
Mr Valts Vilnitis, WECOOP Team Leader: “Air quality is one of the priorities put on the national environmental agendas by Central Asian countries. The WECOOP project is aimed at assisting the countries in this area through the following activities: analysis and review of the existing national legislation; strategic consulting on improvement of air quality management and control; and capacity building. During these two days, we discussed the EU’s experience, legislation and case studies in air quality management. This discussion helped us to better understand the existing challenges and we are eager to contribute to air quality management improvement in Uzbekistan and other countries of Central Asia.”
Since October 2018, more than 200 national experts, representatives of NGOs and local private companies have already participated in 11 capacity building workshops in Almaty, Ashgabat, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Nur-Sultan and Tashkent and 1 study tour to Vienna, all organised by WECOOP with the financial support of the EU.
Photo: Vitaly Vlasov