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Webinar held to mark UN’s day of clean air for blue skies

By Bureau report
September 09, 2021

PESHAWAR: The Environment Society of the University of Peshawar (UoP) organised a webinar to mark the UN’s “International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies”.

This is the second year that this day is marked globally.

The participants included students of the university, faculty members, and members from other organisations and institutions.

The host and moderator of the event was Dr Asif Khan Khattak, who is the Organiser of the Environment Society.

He talked about the background to the global health problem due to air pollution.

In his presentation, he shared information about many events that the society organised in the previous years related to air pollution.

He highlighted the fact how the society was creating and spreading awareness on environmental problems. He took pride in sharing the information that this was the only event in Pakistan officially registered with the United Nations.

All the speakers of this webinar were faculty members of the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar.

Dr Saeeda Yousuf talked about the economic valuation of clean air. She explained the health-related economic burden due to air pollution. She said, “Can we put a price on clean air?” and she answered, “Yes, we can”. She further added, “Air pollution is a health concern, so by improving air quality, it will bring socio-economic benefits and better health”.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Hizbullah Khan gave a historical perspective of air pollution and explained the importance of pollution prevention and use of various technologies for clean air.

He said, “Certain control measures have been used in industries and vehicles, e.g., the use of catalytic converters which convert the toxic air pollutants into environment friendly gases”.

He said, “We cannot stop air pollution, but research is continuously going on to understand how we can curtail, mitigate and control the emissions of air pollutants.”

Another speaker, Dr Shahla Nazneen, during her presentation, gave a comprehensive overview of the various regulations in Pakistan related to air pollution by quoting the relevant sections of the laws.