About 200 participants attended the 2018 Beijing International Forum on Metropolitan Clean Air Actions, organized by Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau and co-hosted by ICLEI East Asia from 5-6 July. Attendees included representatives from the cities of Paris, London, Tokyo, Seoul, Delhi, and Hong Kong, as well as staff from UN Environment and research institutes for environmental protection located in California and Italy.
Dechen Tsering, Regional Director and Representative of the UN Environment Asia and the Pacific Office, delivered the opening and emphasized how sharing and cooperation between cities is key to driving global action in environmental protection.
Fang Li, Director General of Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, expressed the organizer’s wish to garner valuable advice from other global metropolitan cities to help Beijing succeed in the battle for blue skies and clean air, while Zhang Qian, Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Beijing government, reiterated Beijing’s unwavering support for inter-city exchanges on clean air and other environmental issues.
The first day of the forum was conducted under the theme “Metropolitan Clean Air Actions - Actions, Effectiveness, and Future Plan”. Local representatives shared air quality control strategies and measures in their respective cities, discussing the process, progress made, and future outlooks. Speakers included Valentin Foltescu from UN Environment presenting on the topic of “Mobilising cities to reduce air pollution for our health and climate”, as well as representatives from Italy, California, and London. As the co-host, Shu Zhu, Regional Director and China representative of ICLEI East Asia, moderated the forum session covering topics of air quality control in Beijing, Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong.
The second day of the forum focused on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), with experts and local officers exchanging knowledge on measures to control VOCs pollution. Topics covered included VOCs emissions from vehicles and VOCs control in the petrochemical industry. The forum was concluded with a site visit of Beijing’s air quality monitoring system, specifically to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center and its laboratories.
The forum strengthened relationships between metropolitan cities in their shared battle against air pollution, and laid foundations for further exchanges of a similar nature in the future. ICLEI East Asia is committed to supporting Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau in organizing future forums, and also continuing its support for inter-city exchanges on best practices and measures to improve regional air quality particularly through the East Asia Clean Air Cities (EACAC) Program.