National Stakeholder Awareness Workshop in China: Promoting Acid Deposition and Air Quality Management in East Asia
Bangkok, 18 January 2024
The EANET National Awareness Workshop in China: Promoting Acid Deposition and Air Quality Management in East Asia was held on 18 October 2023 at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and online, as a side event of the First International Conference on Chemical Weather and Chemical Climate (CWCC2023). The Workshop was co-organized by EANET and Fudan University and was joined by 50 participants.
Mr. Zhou Jun, Director of the Asian, African, and Latin American Affairs Division of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, P.R. China, and EANET National Focal Point, delivered the opening remarks. He emphasized EANET’s two-decade journey in building a strong network and China’s commitment to its collaboration. China places high importance on EANET as a platform for expertise and knowledge-sharing and has actively supported its scope expansion. China has declared a “war” on air pollution and achieved a 57% reduction in average PM2.5 concentrations from 2013 to 2022 while doubling its GDP. Mr. Zhou Jun expressed China’s willingness to continue supporting EANET and collaborate for atmospheric environmental protection.
Prof. Xu Tang, from Fudan University, welcomed participants to the EANET side event at the First International Conference on Chemical Weather and Chemical Climate (CWCC2023). He explained the event’s focus on showcasing EANET and fostering collaboration, aligning with CWCC2023. Prof. Xu highlighted ongoing discussions about cooperation between EANET and Fudan University, particularly in capacity-building efforts.
Mr. Bert Fabian, Coordinator of the Secretariat for the EANET, outlined the workshop’s goals. He emphasized the connection between air pollution and climate change and the valuable opportunity for EANET to collaborate with Fudan University, which works closely with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and MAP-AQ. EANET has a strong history of monitoring acid deposition and air pollutants and providing high-quality data, and the Awareness Workshop aims to enhance interaction among researchers, scientists, and policymakers in China and beyond for the benefit of EANET Participating Countries and partners.
More than two decades of EANET
Dr. Meihua Zhu of the Asia Center for Air Pollution Research (ACAP) discussed EANET’s evolution from the 1990s to its formal establishment in 2001, the adoption of the Instrument in 2012, and scope expansion in 2021. She highlighted EANET’s crucial role in policy development, data collection, annual Data Reports, and Periodic Reports on Acid Deposition in East Asia. Dr. Zhu also emphasized the availability of high-quality data on the EANET website. She introduced the Project Fund mechanism and its funded projects in 2023 and 2024. Dr. Zhu underscored EANET’s intergovernmental and cooperative approach in advancing shared knowledge and enhancing air quality in East and Southeast Asia.
Acid Deposition and Air Pollution Management in China
Dr. Siyuan Liang of the China National Environmental Monitoring Centre (CNEMC), the National Center for EANET in China, presented China’s acid deposition and air quality management over recent years. In 2021, PM2.5 levels in cities at the prefecture level or above in China dropped from 46 μg/m³ in 2015 to 30 μg/m³, with significant reductions in PM2.5, SO2, NO2, and CO concentrations from 2013 to 2022. She highlighted 1,000 acid monitoring sites in 469 cities, including Chongqing, Lijiang, Wuzhishan, Xiamen, Xi’an, and Zhuhai sites, part of the EANET network, and highlighted the reduction in acid deposition pollution since 2005. Dr. Liang also presented the various advanced monitoring methods and big data platforms in use in China. She ended her presentation by mentioning the importance of further enhancing monitoring data for environmental management, covering various pollutants to aid decision-making.
Dr. Yangxi Chu from the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) presented China’s impressive air quality improvements over the last decade. Key achievements include stricter air pollution policies, enhanced vehicle emissions standards, clean residential heating, and joint air pollution prevention and control. Dr. Chu outlined China’s 2025 air quality goals and highlighted the role of science and technology in policymaking. He mentioned the National Joint Research Center for Air Pollution Control and its collaborative network, to recognize the main PM2.5 sources and to complete the “last mile” of scientific and technological applications to the ground. Dr. Chu showcased China’s substantial reduction in PM2.5 concentration nationwide and in Beijing, realizing air quality improvement as well as economic development.
Dr. Wei Wan from Clean Air Asia, China Office, discussed China’s journey toward cleaner air, emphasizing significant reductions in air pollutants from 2013 to 2021. She highlighted the successful balance between economic growth and air quality, attributed to revised air quality standards in 2012, among other policies. Dr. Syarif Romadhon from Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) emphasized the importance of EANET’s collaboration and admired China’s example of economic development while reducing air pollution. Professor Gantuya Gambat from the German-Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology expressed appreciation for EANET’s efforts for uniting scientists and policymakers in particular through the EANET Project Fund activities.
Professor Greg Carmichael, from the University of Iowa, USA, and Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of WMO-GAW, highlighted the significance of EANET from the perspectives of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW). He emphasized the importance of monitoring acid deposition in East and Southeast Asia and the collaboration between GAW and EANET. Professor Carmichael expressed gratitude for EANET’s data access and emphasized the need for relevant intercomparison models and emission projections.
Dr. Shiro Hatakeyama, DG at ACAP, delivered the Closing Remarks. He highlighted EANET’s two-decade experience in addressing acid deposition and improving air quality. Dr. Hatakeyama credited the collaborative efforts of the 13 Participating Countries for significant improvements in the atmospheric environment. He expressed admiration for the rapid enhancement of air quality in China and emphasized EANET’s contribution to bettering the atmospheric environment in East Asia. In 2021, EANET expanded its scope to include atmospheric environmental pollutants including ozone and PM2.5, recognizing that controlling these pollutants can yield co-benefits for human health, global warming, and climate change mitigation. Dr. Hatakeyama mentioned the Project Fund mechanism, fostering collaboration beyond the Participating Countries, and expressed hope for extended cooperation.
-Read the Panelists’ Presentations:
- 30 Years of Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) and Its Future Direction, by Dr. Zhu
- Status and prospects in acid deposition monitoring and air quality monitoring in China, by Dr. Liang
- Air Quality Improvement and Science & Technology Development in China during the Last Decade, by Dr. Chu
- China’s 10-year Path Towards Cleaner Air – an Asian Perspective, by Dr. Wan
Photo credits: cover photo of Pudong Century Avenue, Shanghai, China (2021) by Iewek Gnos, all other photos: all rights reserved to EANET.