Today, Ambassador Christina Lassen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, launched in Horsch Beirut the National Air Quality Monitoring Network.
The new network of stations was funded by the EU. It will allow better monitoring of the population's exposure to air pollution sources such as industries, power plants and road traffic, in addition to urban sources of pollution. It will ultimately improve the knowledge and decision making related to air quality in Lebanon.
The launch event brought together the 26 institutions (ministries, municipalities, universities and NGOs) which are hosting the Air Quality Monitoring stations, and highlighted the important role these institutions play in operating the stations.
Ambassador Lassen indicated that Air Quality Monitoring stations such as the one in Horsh Beirut have been installed across the Lebanese territory, covering all the governorates. She said: "Addressing air pollution today in Lebanon is more important than ever: for its citizens, its environment and state finances. The health of Lebanese citizens is at stake." "Monitoring air quality is only a first step in combating air pollution. Moving forward with the adoption of the strategy and action plan for air quality management that has been developed with the support of this EU is critical. It is even more critical that the draft law on the Protection of Air Quality approved by the Council of Ministers in 2012 be approved rapidly before it loses its relevance," she added.
This phase 2 of the National Air Quality Monitoring Network includes 10 fully equipped air quality monitoring stations, 3 particle monitoring stations, 1 calibration laboratory and 8 standalone weather monitoring stations. This network complements the 5 stations which were already installed by the Ministry of Environment in 2013 and which constituted an initial basis of the air quality monitoring programme in Lebanon. The 5 stations were funded by the Greek Government.