Asia: Next Generation Solutions for Clean Air

Colombo – The Better Air Quality Conference (BAQ) is the leading event on air quality in Asia and for the first time was held back to back with the Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum (EST).

More than 1,000 delegates from 50 countries attended the integrated conference from the 19th to 21st November 2014 in Colombo, Sri Lanka which was organized by UNCRD and Clean Air Asia, in partnership with GIZ, Asian Development Bank and World Bank. GIZ’s transport & mobility experts from Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Germany contributed to more than 20 sessions at EST and BAQ.

SUTP’s new technical document “Urban Mobility Plans – National Approaches and Local Practices” was launched at the EST-plenary sessions. On 18th November, GIZ-SUTP organised a 1-day training course on “Scaling up Sustainable Transport Solutions to improve quality of life in cities”.

Three projects under the ASEAN – German Technical Cooperation Programme ‘Cities, Environment and Transport’ (implemented on behalf of BMZ) co-organized a wide range of pre-events, break-out sessions and expert group meetings:

Sustainable Port Development

The project Sustainable Port Development in the ASEAN Region together with the United States Environmental Protection Agency organised a session with the title Triple Green: Sustainable Cities, Ports and Marine. Project Director Mrs Franca Sprong welcomed over 50 participants and invited them to discuss how economic benefits, environmental protection and human health can be integrated into the business of goods movement and sustainable cities.

The three speakers, Mr. Mark Kasman, Mr. Do Trong Dat and Mr. Axel Friedrich agreed that local impacts from ship and port emissions need a global solution with local implementation. In marine transport there is a huge potential for emission reduction; voluntary initiatives of the industry coupled with better enforcement and stricter legislation could start tapping that potential. For instance the government in Hong Kong is drafting legislation to turn the industry-led, voluntary initiative for fuel switching at berth (the Fair Winds Charter) into regulations for all ocean-going vessels. Further information:

Clean Air for Smaller Cities

‘Clean Air for Smaller Cities’ held a workshop as a pre-event to the BAQ and co-organised together with Clean Air Asia two sessions at the BAQ Conference. In the workshop on ‘From the Low-Hanging to the High-Hanging Fruits: Capitalizing On Project´s Achievements’ more than 40 representatives from 12 partner cities participated. The workshop was designed to update all counterparts on project achievements in the last two years, to set momentum towards Clean Air Plan development and implementation in 2015 and to highlight Clean Air Asia´s role as the leading partner for anchoring the project results in Asia. The BAQ-session on ‘Science-based Clean Air Plans of Cities’ had the objectives to provide the broad picture of clean air planning with emphasis on a scientific and consultative process, share the experience of cities in clean air planning and to encourage partnerships with stakeholders on development and implementation of clean air planning. These were successfully discussed by the panellists and more than 90 participants. In the session ‘Partnerships in Building Capacity towards Better Air Quality and Co-Benefits in Smaller Cities’, around 50 representatives from national governments and cities, training institutes, universities, as well as from development agencies and the private sector had fruitful discussions on the impact of capacity building initiatives undertaken in key cities with strategic partners. Further information:

Transport and Climate Change

The third project in the regional programme, Transport and Climate Change contributed to three events related to Green Freight and Logistics. In the pre-event, co-organised by Clean Air Asia, governments, private sector and international organisations noted progress in the attention for the topic in Asia, and GIZ presented the development of trainings. At the BAQ session the GIZ consultant Damantoro outlined the current challenges faced by Indonesia and the initial steps towards improving the freight transport system. In the EST Plenary on Intelligent Freight Systems, Roland Haas presented the outcome of a recent Regional Conference of ADB and GIZ, and the project’s approach towards developing national action plans in ASEAN countries. At the first Fuel Economy Expert Group meeting and the corresponding BAQ session, organized in collaboration with Clean Air Asia and the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, countries discussed the progress towards fuel economy standards and other policies, with India moving towards 20 km/l in 2021, and Vietnam starting in 2015 with mandatory labelling for new vehicles.

The benefits of an ASEAN regional approach for fuel efficiency policies were discussed and initial steps identified. At the fierce and lively Transport Debate, the all-female team beat the men by defending the resolution ‘in the interest of sustainable transport, that Asian cities should subsidise public transportation’. Further information:

All presentation files of EST sessions are now available here. More information, press releases and further presentations can be found on  as well as on – Source: GIZ