Local and trans-boundary air pollution and their impacts need to be studied based on the monitoring data, modeling and impact assessment approaches. The tools and methodologies developed during the Phase III and implementation of the Malé Declaration will be useful in this process, after being adapted for South Asian conditions and the needs of the implementation of Malé Declaration. Specific activities to accomplish this task include:
This activity has been undertaken during Phase III: two regional training programmes on health impact assessment have been conducted and an epidemiological study looking into the impacts of particulate matter on asthmatic schoolchildren has been successfully undertaken in Bangladesh.
Considerable risk to crop yield in the Malé region has been suggested in activities undertaken in Phase III. It is proposed that during Phase 4, crop impact studies, continuing to use both modeling and experimental approaches be conducted in all Malé countries. The modeling risk assessment studies will have a country specific focus, using national level agricultural distribution, production and management regime statistics. This will improve the accuracy with which the “hot spots” can be identified. The results from these modeling studies would use methods developed to provide an indication of the emissions (by sector and location) that are likely to be contributing to the ozone levels resulting in the greatest crop yield losses.
Corrosion Impact Studies have been initiated in several countries during Phase III showing enhanced corrosion in polluted parts of the region. A regional training programme on corrosion impact assessment has also been conducted.
A rapid urban assessment was initiated in Kathmandu during phase III. A national level training programme on rapid urban assessment has also been conducted in Nepal.
There is a need for more studies on the impact on both human and animal health, soil, crop and materials, due to air pollution. Result of available studies have to be translated into action plans for mitigation and prevention. Priority issues to be tackle include childhood asthma caused by air pollution and changes in pH levels in soils and water bodies. The Regional Centre on Soil Mornitoring was designated in Bhutan. The Regional Centre mandate is to compile, evaluate and install data; implement and coordinate (QA/QC) activities and provide technical support on soil mornitoring in South Asia.