Tackling poor air quality: Lessons from three cities

How can countries grow their economies and keep air pollution in check at the same time? A shutterstock_1040255047new World Bank report explores that tricky question, looking at the kinds of policies and actions three leading cities have taken to tackle poor local air quality, providing lessons for other cities. As we mark World Cities Day on October 31, this research seems more timely than ever.

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In India, air quality has been improving despite the COVID-19 lockdown

India is home to some of the world’s most polluted cities. An unintended but welcomeshutterstock_761795974 consequence of the lockdown to contain the coronavirus has been improved air quality throughout the country.  Our assessment of India’s air quality trends has found another underlying and positive trend: air quality has been improving across the country since 2018, and this has nothing to do with the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Growing Threat of Air Pollution

Poor air quality has come to be recognized as a serious health risk and drag on economic development in India. Air quality has been deteriorating across the country since the 1990s, and in 2017 as much as 97 percent of the country’s population was estimated to be exposed to unhealthy levels of ambient PM2.5.  Though there are many types of air pollutants, these small particulates in the air, about one-thirtieth the width of a human hair, are the most harmful to human health.  They can penetrate deep into the lungs, enter the bloodstream and cause deadly illnesses such as lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

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Caribbean beaches are littered with single-use plastics

Article by Karin Kemper & Tahseen Sayed, www.blogs.worldbank.org

Concern about the world’s oceans is growing. Overfishing threatens fisheries, coral reefs caribbeanpollutionare declining and disappearing, and the number of dead zones is increasing. A dearth of waste management on land results in pollutants and debris, including plastics, finding a home in the ocean.

A new World Bank report, Marine Pollution in the Caribbean: Not a Minute to Waste, analyzes the causes and offers solutions for ocean pollution in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, now a hotspot for marine debris, especially plastics.

In the Caribbean and around the world, plastics and other waste are more likely to end up in the oceans when waste is poorly managed, such as through open dumping, open burning, and disposal in waterways.

The marine litter found in the Caribbean comes both from the region and from northern waters, brought in by prevailing currents.

Studies have measured the concentration of plastics across the Caribbean Sea and found as many as 200,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometer in the northeastern Caribbean, according to the report.

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Five things you can do to end plastic pollution

shutterstock_699927847_0The news headlines are grim. A male pilot whale dies on a Thai beach having swallowed 80 plastics bags; images of turtles stuck in six-pack plastic rings; a sad photo of a tiny seahorse clinging to a plastic ear-bud goes viral. Plastic products wash up daily on beaches worldwide –from Indonesia to coastal west Africa, and waterways in cities are increasingly clogged with plastic waste.
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eConsultant2:AIR AND WATER POLLUTION MANAGEMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Deadline:03-Mar-2016 at 11:59:59 PM (Eastern Time – Washington D.C.)

In each of the key sectors which are the main contributors of air pollution in Grsolid wasteeater Cairo and water pollution in the Nile Delta, an analysis will be undertaken to determine the key abatement and policy measures to adhere to good practice international standards. The key sectors of analysis are: (i) waste; (ii) agriculture: (iii) sanitation: (iv) energy; (vi) transport; and (vii) industry.

 

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