Web-based platform will help Ulaanbaatar residents to understand air pollution impact on health and well-being

Web-based platform will help Ulaanbaatar residents to understand air pollution impact on health and well-being

Dec 11, 2020

People in Need, UNDP and UNICEF pilot new web-based platform focused on understanding air pollution impact on health and well-being of Ulaanbaatar residents powered by citizen generated data.

The fight against air pollution across Asia, including Mongolia, is one of the most pressing challenges in a generation. The impacts air pollution has on our daily lives extends to more than just health -- they are social, economic, and gendered. Kicking off on Human Rights Day, the launch event for the Haze Gazer platform - a public eye on air pollution explores why access to clean air should not only be a development priority in Mongolia but also a human rights imperative.

Offering a public space to observe and report on multi-dimensional aspects of air pollution, the Haze-Gazer platform is dedicated to monitor collective impacts of the air pollution on the human health and safety, the socio-economic situation in communities, and to understand the public perception and reception of interventions to improve air-quality.

The "HAZE GAZER" platform aims to:
  • Collect and consolidate air pollution data in Ulaanbaatar city through DIGITAL smart devices based on active citizen participation;
  • Provide valuable data to researchers, journalists and policy makers;
  • Encourage citizens to take action to reduce air pollution impacts, as part of their civic duty, by sharing their life experiences and stories on the platform; and
  • Inform decision-makers on the multidimensional impacts of air pollution on citizens, in particular women and children as well as integrate data with secondary sources.

“Early in 2020, UNDP Mongolia and UNICEF Mongolia jointly embarked on a journey to build a platform that could not only show the air quality at specific locations in Ulaanbaatar City but also to integrate the citizen generated data and monitor how different air qualities are affecting people socially, health wise, and economically. Today, we are launching the Haze Gazer platform which sets out to do just that,” said Elaine Conkievich, UNDP Mongolia Resident Representative.

Developed by People in Need, the Haze Gazer web tool builds on the collective engagement from individuals to have an insight on the multifaceted impacts and different dimensions of air pollution on Ulaanbaatar citizens. Information on the different parameters related to the air-pollution in Ulaanbaatar helps in individual decision-making as well.

In Mongolia, some 1,500 children under the age of 5 were hospitalized due to pneumonia in 2019 alone, with air pollution as one of the main causes. Marginalized and vulnerable parts of Ulaanbaatar often see disproportionately higher rates of air pollution. As a result, parents often miss work and lose vital income source to care for their children while the children miss out on educational advancement.

“The Haze Gazer tool is not meant to cast blame or doubt on air quality data, but to provide the community with an understanding on how air pollution impacts our lives. The web tool also provides information and tips on how people can protect themselves,” said Speciose Hakizimana, UNICEF Deputy Representative.

Haze Gazer web platform is a public project, crowdsourcing the knowledge and data from the public. Therefore, the platform can only succeed with the strong civic engagement to generate the data but also to learn together and build solutions for a better, cleaner, healthier future. Action for clean air is a shared responsibility.

For more information, be sure to follow Agaar Neg Facebook page or jump on the HazeGazer.mn website.

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About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. For more information about UNDP Mongolia and its work on governance, SDGs and environment, visit: www.undp.mn

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF Mongolia and its work for children, visit: www.unicef.mn

About PIN

About People in Need (PIN): INGO based in the Czech Republic, launched programming in Mongolia in 2009, when it provided emergency assistance to herders affected by severe winter conditions (dzud). With the goals of saving lives and protecting dignity, empowering people and supporting sustainable living, PIN established its permanent presence in Mongolia in 2011. For more information about PIN visit: http://www.peopleinneed.cz/ , and its work in Mongolia, visit to FB page: @PINinMongolia

Contact info

For more information about the project or media inquiries, please contact Ms. Bulgantamir.G , Project Manager, People in Need: bulgantamir.ganbold@peopleinneed.cz

Author: People in Need