2021(22) Session Events

Clean Air Day 2021

Webinar on World Clean Air Day Organised by the Environment Society


The UoP Environment Society organised a webinar to mark the UN’s “International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies” on 7 September 2021. This is the second year that this day has been celebrated globally since it was introduced in 2020.


Here is the link of the recording of the event: https://youtu.be/5RYfxtOTK04


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 introduced this international day and gave a brief 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 gave a talk on 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 further shared his thoughts and said, “We cannot stop air pollution, but research is continuously going on to understand how we can curtail, mitigate and control the emissions of these 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. She said, “Pakistan has very strong rules and regulations for air pollution, however, monitoring and enforcement of the law remains deficient”. She added further, “Pakistan has national environmental quality standards (NEQS) in Pakistan for air quality”. 


Prof Dr Muhammad Nafees, the Chairman of the department, gave a presentation on air pollution and trees. He explained how the trees act as carbon sinks and absorb carbon dioxide from the air but that is not sufficient. He said, “Whenever we talk about clean air, tree plantation is not the ultimate solution”. He then added, “Air pollution takes place due to many different types of air pollutants, such as SOX, NOX, COX, that require other technologies and interventions”.


At the end of the programme, Dr Asif Khan Khattak, thanked all the participants of the webinar.



The report was published in the newspaper, The News, and here is the link: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/890053-webinar-held-to-mark-un-s-day-of-clean-air-for-blue-skies