In response to an increasing threat of air pollution issues in Asia Pacific, and the call to action from the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) last year, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in cooperation with governments and other partners have launched the Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership (APCAP) with initial funding provided by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment.
APCAP is an initiative formed with an aim of providing support to countries in the Asia Pacific region in managing their air pollution concerns through an integrated approach that is in line with the UNEA-1 resolution. Such an approach has the potential to deliver multiple benefits ranging from improved health to food and water security, as well as climate change co-benefits. APCAP is also designed to bring together multiple regional initiatives related to air pollution to provide clear policy options based on the best science, and support action on air pollution across the region.
In view of the increasing threat of air pollution issues, the inaugural session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), held in June 2014, identified air pollution as top priority that requires immediate action by the international community and the governments. The resolution on air pollution, adopted by the UNEA, calls governments to “formulate action plans and establish and implement nationally determined ambient air quality standards;….and to establish emissions standards for their significant sources of air pollution”. The resolution also calls UNEP to support national efforts in addressing the air pollution issues.