Regional cooperation to curb emissions requires the individual countries to develop mutually agreeable models of air pollutant emissions and atmospheric transport so that the links between emissions and adverse impacts can be evaluated and the results fed into the policy process. Indeed, it is difficult to develop comprehensive policies at any scale without a reliable emission inventory (EI). Clearly in some cases, the problems are so obvious that decisions can be taken without waiting for further study e.g. black smoke large trucks and buses. However, once these ‘low hanging fruit’ have been addressed, there is a need for more information about the significance of different emission sources and their contribution to local or regional pollutant deposition or concentration levels and their subsequent adverse impacts.
It was recognised early on that the compilation of national inventories of air pollutant emissions in a consistent format by each of the eight countries of the Malé Declaration would be a first step toward such coordinated modelling in the region. To that end, an EI preparation manual (and associated Excel spread sheet-based workbook) was developed in by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in collaboration with the National Implementing Agencies (NIAs) of the Malé Declaration countries and regional experts to ensure regional applicability. Beginning in 2006, a series of emission inventory training workshops were held during which participants from all member countries started to compile national EIs using this Malé Declaration Emission Inventory Manual. The manual and workbook have been continuously improved during Phases III and IV in light of new information and learning-by-doing, responding to issues as they have cropped up during the implementation of the EI activities. The EI methodology developed for the Malé Declaration has also fed into the development of the Global Atmospheric Pollution Forum Manual (http://www.sei-international.org/rapidc/gapforum/html/projects.php) which is forming the basis for approaches to be used within the EANET and ABC networks.
Through the process of developing the IE manual, and the training received in inventory preparation and in scenario development, the EI capacity of all Malé Declaration countries has been enhanced. This includes representatives of the NFPs (National Focal Points) (e.g. Ministry of Environment Officials), the NIAs (National Implementing Agencies) nominated by the NFPs, as well as other local institutions brought in to help produce the first government-led national EIs in South Asian. Prior to the Malé Declaration EI activity, no comprehensive, national-level EIs of the main regional air pollutants had been produced by the Malé Declaration countries with the exception of India. For most South Asian countries, emissions estimates were only available from regional or global initiatives carried out by academics or institutions such as the international EDGAR (Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research) database.
Malé Declaration achievements and results
- Air pollutant emission inventory (EI) compilation capacity has been considerably enhanced in all eight Malé Declaration countries.
- Using a harmonised methodology (the Malé Declaration Emission Inventory Manual/Workbook), national EIs have been produced for the baseline year 2000 and draft EIs for 2005 are currently being finalised in some countries.
- As a result of this activity, decision makers will now be better able to identify national and regional trends in air pollution emissions and prioritize emission sources for mitigation.
- The EI data will also provide input for modelling the regional impacts of these emissions and assessing the likely benefits of alternative mitigation scenarios.
- A major achievement has been the establishment of the Regional Centre on Emission Inventory (at the Central Environment Authority, Colombo, Sri Lanka) to oversee coordination, harmonization, quality control and reporting of the Malé Declaration EI activities.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka submitted improved emission inventories which were quality checked by SEI. The 4th Training Workshop on Emission Inventory Preparation, held in New Delhi, India on 16-17 November 2010, was participated by technicians from the government agencies of the Malé Declaration countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), as well as representatives from SEI-Y and UNEP RRC.AP. This training provided hands on experience in the compilation of emission inventory and development of integrated assessment. The training group agreed to upgrade their national emission inventories with 2005 data. The quality of the emission inventories being produced by the Malé Declaration is improving in each phase.
The 5th Regional Training on Emission Inventory and the National Training on Emission Inventory were held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 23-25 May 2012 and 21-22 May 2012, respectively. The trainings were organized by the Central Environment Authority (CEA), Sri Lanka which serves as the Regional Center on Emission Inventory of the Malé Declaration, and co-organized by the Secretariat. The objective of the trainings were to enhance the capacity and capability of National Implementing Agencies (NIAs) and those involved in the participating countries to undertake emission inventory and scenario development, and integrated assessment modeling.
Outcome: The quality of emission inventories being produced is improving and being updated in each phase.