Conjoining the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies and the upcoming G20 Summit in India, this webinar brought together a dialogue between environmental experts and national advocates working on this intersection on air pollution and children. Together, they highlighted the urgency of taking collective actions to end air pollution to improve the health co-benefits of climate mitigation on nurturing care and development of young children.
Our youngest children and pregnant mothers are most at risk to air pollution, environmental degradation, and climate crisis.
93% of all children under 5 years are exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution (WHO, 2018). And each year, air pollution causes 570,000 deaths in children under 5. The Asia Pacific region is especially vulnerable with 4 billion people - over 90% of its population - experiencing toxic air pollution. South Asia itself is home to 9 of the world’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution (World Bank). Of the 7 million premature deaths attributed to air pollution, two thirds occur in the Asia Pacific region (WHO, 2021; CCAC, UNEP, Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership, 2019). This puts young children in Asia Pacific at risk given their rapidly developing bodies and brains during these early formative years.
Objectives of the webinar
- Elevate attention on a key component of the ECD-Climate intersection: Air pollution and its impact on a young child's brain and body development which is a persistent issue in Asia Pacific.
- Increase visibility of diverse voices, including youth and climate stakeholders, and the existing solutions they bring to tackle climate and environmental risks in the region.
- Highlight opportunities, gaps, and challenges to spur collective collaboration to improve air quality while increasing adaptive capacities of young children and mitigation of climate in Asia Pacific.
Moderators and Panelists
- Moderators: Peckgee Chua (ARNEC) and Sree Kumar Kumaraswamy (World Resources Institute, India)
• Evelyn Santiago (ARNEC)
• Lynn Tang (Vital Strategies)
• Thitiporn Sukaew (Ministry of Public Health, Thailand)
• Daffa Praditya Devano (Mitra Muda UNICEF, Indonesia)
• Riza Annisa Anggraeni (Children and Youth Delegate for Climate and Clean Air, UNEP)
• Spriha Shrestha (Save the Children Nepal)
• Nicholas Rees (UNICEF EAPRO)
• Jessica Cooke (Plan International)
Resources from the webinar: