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International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies 2021: Theme, History, Facts and National Clean Air Program

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This year 07th September 2021, the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is being celebrated globally, that is, the “International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies”.  The purpose of celebrating this day is to raise awareness among people at all levels of individual, community, corporate and government about how important clean air is to our health, life, economy and environment. 

Theme of International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

this year theme for the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies 2021 is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet”

History of International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

International Day of Clean Air forBlue Sky History

This year on September 7th, 2021, the second International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies will be observed.  In 2019 the United Nations General Assembly, during its 74th session, adopted a resolution to observe the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on December 19, 2019.

And called upon the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to celebrate the International Day in collaboration with other relevant organizations. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) worked closely with UNEP and the Republic of Korea to celebrate this day. 

Key points about International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

International Day of Clean Air - Key Points
  • Underlining the problem of air pollution, the Environment Minister said that in the year 2014, the government had started monitoring through the Air Quality Index (AQI) and currently the pollution levels are being monitored on eight parameters.  . 
  • Presently BS-VI (Bharat Standard-6) standards have been adopted in the country and quality petrol and diesel have been made available, which is an important initiative to fight pollution. 
  • According to the Environment Minister, in the last few years the construction of roads and highways by the government is going on very fast and due to this the pollution is decreasing as compared to last year. 

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Sky Facts

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Sky Facts
  • For the first time in the year 2020, ‘International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies’ was organized globally. 
  • The main objective of this day is to increase public awareness at all levels such as individual, community, corporation and government etc. that clean air is very important in terms of health, productivity, economy and environment. 
  • The day also aims to create a strategic alliance to bring together diverse international stakeholders working on important issues such as air quality, to accelerate national, regional and international approaches to effective air quality management. 
  • The United Nations General Assembly, during its 74th session, had adopted a resolution to observe ‘International Day of Clean Air for Blue Sky’ on 19 December 2019. 
  • The theme of 2020 is ‘Clean Air for All’.

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Sky Quotes

  • “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet”
  • 92% of our world is exposed to polluted air causing an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year.
  • Air pollution is an environmental risk to human health.
  • In fact, environmental health is linked to human health

What is Air Pollution? 

Air pollution refers to the condition caused by gases and particulates emitted into the atmosphere due to various types of human activities such as inefficient combustion of fuels, agriculture and farming.

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There are also some natural sources of air pollution, including volcanic activity, forest fire.

Air pollution as a serious problem

  • According to an estimate, about 92 percent of the entire world is facing the threat of air pollution, which causes an estimated 7 million premature deaths each year. 
  • Humans, animals and birds have to face serious health problems due to the presence of unwanted gases in the air.  This causes diseases like asthma, cold, burning in the eyes, hearing loss, skin diseases etc. 
  • Air pollution has increased the risk of acid rain, which has damaged plants, buildings and historic buildings. 

Air pollution and sustainable development

Experts agree that the ever-increasing air pollution is a serious threat to sustainable development, as it affects various social, environmental and economic parameters related to human development such as good health, food security, gender equality, climate stability and poverty reduction.

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The progress of many of the internationally set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is directly or indirectly dependent on the state of air quality. 

National Clean Air Program

In January last year, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), in which the year 2017 is considered as the base year to tackle the problem of air pollution.  The target has been set to reduce the ratio of 10 and PM 2.5 by 20 to 30 percent by the year 2024.  

Crédit: UN Environment Programme

In this scheme, 102 cities were identified in 23 states and union territories.  Based on the latest data trends on air quality, 20 more cities have been included under NCAP. 

Measure 

  • Since each city has different sources of pollution, states should work with city-centric plans to reduce pollution levels, encouraging the use of electric vehicles. 
  • People’s participation is necessary to clean the air.  Car-pooling and the use of public transport should be encouraged. 
  • Controlling air pollution is possible, but for this all stakeholders, from common citizens to private companies and governments, have to come together on one platform.

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Samachar Khabar
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