ISLAMABAD: An Islamic Development Bank report has advised South Asian countries to identify workable definitions of ‘airsheds’ in the region that can be used to evaluate air quality policy options and measure the level and composition of air pollution concentration.

Airsheds have been a policy tool in many countries to manage air quality and protect public health. The concept of an airshed as a management tool is analogous to the idea of a watershed or drainage basin in water resources. Fund­amental differences, however, exist between them. Unlike water pollution, air pollution is more demanding to sample as it comes from a variety of nonpoint sources.

The report, ‘Regional Coope­ration and Integration in Asia and the Pacific’, produced jointly by Islamic Bank, ADB, European Bank for Recon­struction and Development, Asian Infras­tructure Investment Bank and the World Bank, released the other day, discussed ‘regional approa­ches to support air pollution management in South Asia’. Recent years have

seen a wave of policy responses to combat air pollution, including the draft Bangladesh Clean Air Act, the National Electrical Vehicles Policy in Pakistan, and India’s National Clean Air Programme. The policy changes will allow economies to grow without a corresponding increase in air pollution, it says.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2022

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