SEA AQ Community of Practice logo.

Air quality practitioners from cities across Southeast Asia are invited to connect, exchange knowledge and share best practices and tools for air quality management and short-lived climate pollutant reduction through a specialized community of practice.

The Southeast Asia Air Quality Community of Practice is part of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and is coordinated by the Air Quality teams in WRI Indonesia and WRI Global. For more information, contact Beatriz Cardenas or Fadhil Firdaus.

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Of the 40 most polluted cities in the world, 37 are in Southeast Asia. Virtually all (99.9%) of the region’s people live in areas where air pollution exceeds World Health Organization guidelines for safe air quality. This pollution cuts average life expectancy in the region by 1.5 years, relative to what it would be if the WHO guideline was met.

However, the UN Environment Assembly has found that less than 50% of Southeast Asian countries are taking actions to reduce emissions from transport, industrial activities and open burning. And only 7 of the 11 countries in the region are progressing towards best practices for air quality laws and regulations.

To address the health and environmental impacts of air pollution, Southeast Asian countries urgently need to implement better air quality management and effective policies to reduce air pollution.

Southeast Asia Air Quality Community of Practice Initiative

Interested in joining the community of practice? Please fill out this application.

WRI has established an Air Quality Community of Practice for Southeast Asian countries (SEA-AQ) to help overcome regional capacity gaps in air pollution reduction and foster cross-border exchange. SEA-AQ focuses on Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and is supported by the U.S. Department of State. This Community of Practice connects air quality experts, practitioners and stakeholders across a variety of sectors to participate in online and in-person experience-sharing forums, field visits and policy master classes with international experts.

Training and policy master classes convened by the Community of Practice will foster knowledge sharing and enhance participating countries’ and cities’ capacity to effectively monitor, model, forecast, manage and interpret air quality data. Participants will have access to resources such as:

Data and Tools

  • Air quality data: Exploration of platforms and tools that facilitate data visualization and interaction with databases.
  • Air quality indicators: Design and development of impact indicators to assess the effectiveness of different environmental and/or urban interventions and policies.
  • Monitoring networks: Evaluation of hyperlocal air quality monitoring networks and reference-grade stations.

Best Practices

  • Participatory sciences: Theory and experiences highlighting the value of stakeholders' participation — such as air quality practitioners in participating countries — to accurately narrow down policy recommendations.
  • Climate, waste and clean air: Perspective and experiences in the design and integrated implementation of waste, climate and air pollution from a regulatory point of view.
  • Transboundary air pollution: Understanding regional air pollution transport in air sheds due to forest fires or other sources.
  • Air quality and equity: Sharing knowledge about the health and environmental benefits of improved air quality and including equal access to clean air in Southeast Asian countries’ air quality management policies.
  • Transport and urban development initiative to achieve clean air: Implementing Low Emission Zones, tactic urbanism, electromobility and nature-based solutions.

Training will be further tailored to the needs of the participants based on their feedback and discussions during the sessions.

Air Pollution facts graphic.

Cover image by Aviv Rachmadian/Unsplash