DHAKA, July 26 – U.S. Science Envoy for Air Quality Dr. James J. Schauer visited Bangladesh July 20-26 to engage stakeholders in discussions about air quality and mitigation strategies.
Dr. Schauer met with the Prime Minister’s Principle Coordinator for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to discuss the integration of air quality solutions with the SDGs.
He also met with the Director General of the Department of Environment, the Director General for Health Services, and the Dhaka North Mayor to discuss air quality and the government’s actions to address the situation in Bangladesh. Dr. Schauer highlighted that access to electricity has reduced indoor air pollution and was pleased to learn about the draft Clean Air Act.
Dr. Schauer visited the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and met with scientists from both the icddr,b and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to review effects air pollution has on the burden of disease.
He also visited the U.S. Embassy’s air quality monitor. The data from the Embassy’s air quality monitor complements the data available from Bangladesh’s Clean Air and Sustainable Environment Project.
Dr. Schauer briefed local journalists on air quality issues and provided background information to inform future reporting on the topic.
He also delivered a lecture on air quality to 200 students and professors from six universities at Dhaka University and visited the Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka.
During his visit, Dr. Schauer exchanged views on air quality problems and solutions with many air quality experts. He convened an experts’ roundtable discussion in collaboration with the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh and the Edward M. Kennedy Center for Public Service and the Arts, and engaged diplomatic chiefs of mission and senior government officials during a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller.
Dr. Schauer had a fruitful discussion with six Bangladeshis as they prepare to take part in TechCamp Kathmandu July 29-31. TechCamp is a State Department initiative to connect influencers and practitioners to facilitate dialogue on air quality.