May 12, 2021 – On May 6 and 11, 2021 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the U.S. Embassy in Nur-Sultan convened a C5+1 collaborative workshop on air quality data use and management with Central Asian countries. Participants in the virtual workshop included government representatives for hydrometeorology and air quality monitoring from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
During the two-day workshop, U.S. air quality experts shared their expertise regarding data use and management in cities with growing air quality monitoring networks. Participants also worked together to discuss and design a strategy for internal government communication of air quality data conclusions and considerations for next steps.
In August and December 2020, U.S. EPA and U.S. Embassy Nur-Sultan conducted a series of workshops 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. All these 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 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 Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The three-year project will be in collaboration with KazHydroMet, KyrgyzHydroMet, UNEP, and the U.S. Embassies in Nur-Sultan and Bishkek.