A pre-recorded presentation was given by the Maldives National University (MNU) at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) on the 1st March 2022.
The presentation was based on the Air Quality Monitoring research project MNU was involved in with Duke University from United States, funded by the US Department of State. It covered the capacity building activities the State Department is facilitating through the project in the 7 South Asian countries; Maldives, India, Sri-Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. It was presented by the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Technology Lecturer Noora Khaleel, who is managing the project in the Maldives.
The presentation highlighted the present condition of the Maldives in terms of monitoring air pollution and how the research project will help to achieve the critical goals of the Maldives National Action Plan on Air Pollutants, published in 2019 by the Ministry of Environment. There is the need for strengthening air quality monitoring in the Maldives, which is evident from the efforts by the government itself.
According to the presentation, in the three-year research project, 20 Low-cost TSI BlueSky air quality monitors/sensors will be deployed in 20 different locations across the whole country. These sensors will be monitoring the level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the locations. To date the Greater Male’ region sensor network has been established with 6 sensors operating in the region. With the established sensor network in the country along with satellite image, integrated with meteorological modeling and source apportionment and through technical support from Duke University, national-scale monitoring would be established.
The presentation was watched at the UNEA-5 at Nairobi and online in a side event on “Regional Scale Air Pollution”. The overall theme for UNEA-5 was “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,”