Stakeholder Workshop Air quality roadmap of Ethiopia and agenda for clean air action plan

May 13, 2016

A joint initiative of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Centre for Science and Environment, India

March 18-19, 2016

Harmony Hotel, Addis Ababa
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia organised a Stakeholder Workshop on Air quality roadmap of Ethiopia and agenda for Clean Air Action Plan on March 18-19, 2016 in Addis Ababa. This was a follow up of September 8, 2015 workshop organised by both the partner organisations in which air quality and transportation challenges in Addis Ababa/Ethiopia were discussed with the concerned stakeholders and a clean air action plan was recommended. The MEFCC asked CSE to prepare a roadmap on air quality monitoring and management. CSE prepared the Urban Air Quality in Ethiopia: Guidance Framework for Clean Air Action for the MEFCC based on the local information, CSE’s expertise and global best practices. This two-day workshop deliberated on the CSE’s Guidance Framework for Air Quality Management in Ethiopia followed by a very brief session on the project proposal by Worku Tefera. 

This workshop brought together stakeholders representing the concerned Ministries/agencies/departments dealing with air quality, vehicle technology, fuel quality, mobility related issues along with academia, experts, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), industry and media. Eighty participants actively participated in the deliberations. In addition to CSE representatives, the other participants were from MEFCC, Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI), Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia (MoWIE), Solid Waste Recycling and Disposal Project Office, The Ethiopian Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority, Chemical and Construction Inputs Industry Development Institute, Ministry of Transport (MoT), Federal Ministry of Health, National Meteorology Agency (NMA), Addis Ababa University-School of Public Health, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, World Health Organization, Ministry of Industry (MoI), Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise (EPSE), Addis Ababa Health Bureau, Lifan Motor, Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC), Addis Ababa Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), African Development Bank (AfDB), Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) etc. 

Inaugural session

The workshop was inaugurated by the State Minister, MEFCC, H. E. Ato Kare Chawicha. In his opening remarks, Chawicha said, ‘The overall vehicle number is low in Ethiopia but it has increased exponentially. Since 2002, there has been an increase of 406 per cent in vehicle registration. The rapid increase in air pollution a result of continuous economic growth, urbanisation and industrialisation, is becoming a major problem. We even import old second-hand vehicles. Therefore, the pollution from vehicles is much higher in our cities than the relatively small number of those vehicles would suggest. To make matters worse in our present context, our rate of urbanization, as is the case in the rest of Africa, is very high. He further added, ‘Vehicles are among the major emitters of atmospheric pollutants that cause climate change. Therefore, it is a question of survival that forces us to reduce the emission of pollutants from vehicles and other sources. Ethiopia is working hard towards, becoming by 2025 a middle income country with zero net emission of greenhouse gases in to the atmosphere. Air quality should not be just a passing concern – it is the envelope within which all our daily activities take place. Air pollution does not have to be part and parcel of life in Ethiopia. Strengthening our ability to reduce air pollution saves millions of dollars in future public health care costs, missed work days, school absences, not to mention the discomfort and suffering from preventable illnesses and premature death. Improving our country’s air quality is a complex exercise that requires strong understanding of environmental sciences, ability to chart evidence-based multidisciplinary policies, effective feedback and assessment mechanisms, effective technology and financial resources to take action. Given, the competing development needs we have, we may not have these conditions in place. The Government of Ethiopia is in the process of developing air quality monitoring roadmap. To implement this roadmap the MEFCC apart its own budget needs resources in terms of capacity building and finance. We are collaborating with our potential partners CSE and UNEP who has helped us so far.’ He concluded that the draft guidance framework for clean air action prepared by CSE which will be discussed in this workshop is a platform towards the roadmap.’ 

The State Minister declared the workshop open which began with a keynote presentation on Air quality management in southern world: Challenges and solutions by Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director, CSE. The presentation highlighted why there is a need for a partnership in the global South, common concerns of air quality and mobility in the region and the need for an Clean Air Action Plan or a roadmap to address challenges and intervention areas and seek solutions by experience sharing, learning from each other and adopting local and global experiences and best practices and customising to the local needs to achieve clean air and sustainable mobility in our cities. The conversation began with why partnership is important in the global South and the reason being as there are common areas of governance challenge in the global south. All of us in the global South are going through the same phase of development – asking same questions and seeking same solutions with some unique challenges. The biggest concern is the air quality challenge in the global South and public health impact. It is therefore important to prepare a Clean Air Action Plan to address the air quality, public health and other emerging challenges. There should be explicit link between the Clean Air Action Plan and the mobility and transportation strategies. Ethiopia needs to take action on several fronts such as air quality monitoring and management, low car/vehicle ownership but to control increasing motorization, control dieselization, import policy to reduce import of old vehicles, clean vehicle technology and fuel quality roadmap, augmentation of NMT and public transport infrastructure, regularization and integration of informal intermediate public transport modes (like mini-taxis) which are efficient and affordable, multimodal integration, car restraint measures like parking policy as travel demand management strategy and vehicle taxation. In addition to vehicles, action on other air pollution sources are equally important such as power plants, air polluting industries, generator sets, open burning, household cooking, road dust and construction activities. City based and regional plans need to be developed with specific targets and timeline. Set up of institutional process for clean air action is required. After a comprehensive CSE presentation, the UNEP representative shared about their low-cost sensor based monitoring system, its benefit and their work with schools in Nairobi to monitor air quality with the device. 

Technical sessions on Urban Air Quality in Ethiopia: Guidance Framework for Clean Air Action and its thematic areas 
After CSE’s keynote presentation, the technical sessions included CSE presentations on various thematic areas of the Clean Air Guidance Framework document. The presentations were followed by open house discussion with the stakeholders. 

Air quality monitoring and technology roadmap
CSE emphasised to adopt the guiding principles for air quality management in Ethiopia. The country needs strategy for monitoring, enforcement and compliance. Ethiopia has one realtime air quality monitoring station in the NMA campus which monitors gaseous pollutants only. However the data is not published and is available on demand. There are challenges of maintenance. Ethiopia has plans to expand the network. CSE emphasized that the country should look at the critical elements of air quality monitoring and management. Along with air quality data, information on meteorological parameters is also needed. Quality control for credible and reliable data is equally important. The regulatory agencies should make air quality monitoring relevant to public health by means of air quality index and public advisories. As the air quality monitoring systems are expensive, there is a need for inventive and affordable (low cost sensor based monitoring systems) approach to assess exposure and build public awareness in developing world.  Another big area of concern is the source of pollution. Need capacity to assess pollution sources. The key instruments of air quality planning are emissions inventory, source apportionment and air quality modelling. This is needed to create baseline and assess change over time. However barriers exist such as lack of quality data on emissions from different sources, lack of emissions factors, inadequate capacity to design such studies and financial resources. There is a need for inventive approach to combine low cost monitoring with exposure assessment for mitigation in the micro environment to protect public health. 

Vehicle technology and fuel quality roadmap: Ethiopia is developing draft emissions standards. However the current fuel quality is diesel 5,000 ppm sulphur and gasoline 1,000 ppm sulphur. There is a proposal for harmonisation at 500 ppm and then 50 ppm No emissions standards for vehicles at present. The country is dependent entirely on imported fuel. Financing strategy needs to be developed to leapfrog to address the increased use of diesel in vehicular fleet. Another special challenge is the dominance of old vehicles import, huge pollution concern. The challenge of vehicle inspection and maintenance should also be addressed as how to upgrade the vehicle inspection for new and old vehicles by exploring options such as smoky vehicle programme, scrappage programme linked with improved emission standards with recycling facilities, introduction of low emissions zone in the city and restriction on old vehicles  in these areas and increase in annual tax on vehicles by age to disincentivise. 

Mobility management strategies 
This presentation focused on the mobility management strategies. CSE emphasised that mobility and transportation strategies are integral part of the clean air action plan. Addis Ababa/Ethiopia’s strength is that the car/vehicle ownership is still low and majority of people (91 per cent) walk and use public transport. It is therefore important to link clean air action plan with mobility aspects such as road design and urban design. The policies should plan for people’s movement and not vehicle movement. There is a need for integrated affordable and efficient public transport plan (buses, para transit system (mini-taxis) and other systems). All the different public transport and IPT modes should be integrated. There is a need to regularize and integrate the efficient informal IPT service. The white and blue mini-taxis which are however of low occupancy but high frequency modes are very efficient and affordable. These can penetrate deeper into the neighbourhoods and are irreplaceable in many areas. Non-motorised transport (NMT) modes are very important and there is a need for a NMT policy and street design guidelines to make accessible and safe cities. Demand side management strategies also play an important role. Thus car restraint measures such as parking policy is an important strategy to reduce congestion and pollution. Fiscal strategies are equally important to fund the transition. Therefore the co-benefit principles should guide the clean air action plan roadmap. The elements include set and meet clean air target to protect public health, reduce energy and climate impacts of growth and motorization, adopt affordable strategies that are equitous and meet the needs of the poor and all other vulnerable sections, ensure safe mobility for all, enhance quality of life and integrate the needs of livelihood security. 

Addressing other pollution sources
Ethiopia needs to take action on all sources – vehicles, power plants, air polluting industries, generator sets, open burring, household cooking, road dust and construction. It is important to reduce emissions from vehicles by leapfrogging to emission standards and reinvent mobility and its link with urban planning and design; from air polluting industries by reviewing industrial emission and control measures and industrial fuel; from generator sets by adopting tighter emission standards, siting and acoustic measures for big generator sets and energy efficiency measures to reduce electricity demand; action on open burning should be to adopt strong waste management practices along with monitoring and awareness raising; reduce wood burning and provide clean fuel for household cooking, for road dust and construction activities to adopt dust control measures for construction industry, roads and traffic and city based and regional plans. 

Set up institutional process for clean air action: This is a crucial task which would require preparation of pollution-source-wise action plan with time line. Develop indicators to assess if all cross sector action are delivering on clean air and energy efficiency. List action with time line and attribute it to the ministry/department responsible for implementation. Harmonise action across departments. Set up inter-departmental task force to monitor implementation. Take stock periodically to further refine and upgrade the plan. Adopt strong legal framework for implementation and compliance 

Stakeholder discussion/consultation on the proposed Clean Air Action Guidance Framework
The second day of the workshop focused on identification of concerned stakeholders, their role is overall air quality management and what will be their contribution to the Clean Air Action Plan/air quality roadmap and its implementation. This session was moderated and facilitated by Mehari Wondimagegn, Director, MEFCC and Priyanka Chandola, CSE. The stakeholders identified include EiABC (various departments can play roles involving the different areas of city construction including architecture, planning, urban design, landscape architecture and construction), Addis Ababa University and Addis Ababa Science and Technology University (participate on energy sector roadmap and now will provide technical support of this roadmap), EEFRI (conducts research on air quality policies), Ministry of Industry (have project on how greenhouse gas emissions is reduced from industries that used coal, biomass etc and change the importation of materials), Ministry of Health (have rules and regulations to control air pollution and works with MEFCC), Ministry of Transport (have project on cycling, share the road and other non-motorised forms of transport and have LRT projects and mass transport system and also trans regional railways), National Meteorology Agency (compile meteorological data, have such data for the past 30 years, set up air quality monitoring stations, air quality monitoring station is installed at Adama and will be inaugurated in the coming week. Another station will be set up in Hawassa. Thus NMA will provide important data for the roadmap), Addis Ababa Health Bureau (air pollution induced health problems), Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (member of the technical committee on the roadmap), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (deals with e-waste management), Addis Ababa University (teach students about air pollution), Somali EPA (replication of Addis Ababa experience to Jigiga), Ethiopian Roads Authority (road network expansion and is responsible to manage environmental issues related to pollution and will help MEFCC to ensure safeguard issues are addressed in the construction to reduce noise and air pollution), EPSE (standard development and policy implementation), Tigray EPA (take the roadmap to the cities and coordinate and conduct preliminary assessment), consulting firms and solid waste recycling agency (have projects on air quality as the main urban problems are emissions from solid waste, collect flaring methane gases and waste to energy projects) and UNEP. 

Based on deliberations and consultation with the present stakeholders and their role and contribution to the roadmap, thematic areas were identified such as baseline information on air quality, air quality monitoring and management, pollution sources assessment and control, policy instruments (information, economy, voluntary, regulatory, exposure assessment, regulatory role, awareness creation and outreach strategies and research and training. Thus for Baseline information on air quality, the key agencies to be involved are NMA, MoH, Regional EPA, MoI, research institutes, higher education, MoUDHC, MoT, MoA, Customs Authority. For air quality monitoring and management, NMA, regional EPAs, fuel enterprise, MoT and municipalities. For pollution sources assessment and control, research institutes and academia, MoH (EPHI), regional EPAs, MoI and Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). The policy instruments (information, economy, voluntary, regulatory) will include tax on vehicles and other sources; vehicle age and quality restriction; landuse planning and design, car restraint measures – parking policy; NMT and public transport strategy; clean fuel and technology (clean energy sources) – appropriate technologies; waste disposal, incentive and enforcement mechanisms. The agencies to be involved are Customs Authority, MEFCC, MoT, MoWIE, MoUDHCo, Master Plan office, Municipalities, Road Authorities, Ministry of Mines, regional solid waste management offices, chemical and construction institute, MoST, NPC, local administration and Ministry of Justice (MoJ). It was suggested that the MEFCC along with regional EPAs, Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, traffic police, MoJ, Parliament environment and natural resource standing committee. For exposure assessment (health effect), the agencies to be involved are MoH, research institutes, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Ministry of Education. For awareness creation and outreach strategies, MEFCC, MoH, MoC, media, civil society, professional associations. For research and training, higher education institutes, NMA and NGOs will be involved. 

It was suggested and agreed that a Steering Committee will be formed which will include decision makers as well as the technical team (expert level). Next step would be to define implementation modalities for policy level, operational level and lower (woreda and kebele) levels. An inter-ministerial committee will be formed with lead ministries including the MEFCC, Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, MoWIE, MoT, MoH, MoI, MoUD, Ministry of Construction, MoST and ERCA.