Toward a new era of air pollution research in Asia
Director General: Hajime Akimoto
Air pollution research in Asia is now progressing toward a new era. First of all, emissions of major air pollutants in Asia have already exceeded those of Europe and North America by the end of the last century, and are predicted to keep increasing at least in the next couple of decades in this century. Such an increase of emissions causes serious urban and regional air pollution in many areas of Asia as well as contributing substantially to hemispherical and global air pollution.
In order to mitigate the urban and regional air pollution in Asia, and to control hemispherical air pollution, we are charged with research opportunities and responsibilities to characterize air pollution phenomena in various parts of Asia and to quantify transboundary air pollution taking into account intercontinental and hemispherical transport. Further, interaction between air pollution and climate change is now getting an important research subject, which may lead to a policy of co-benefit, co-control approach to alleviate them simultaneously.
Under this situation we decided to change the name of our institute from Acid Deposition and Oxidant Research Center (ADORC) to Asia Center for Air Pollution Research (ACAP), in order to clarify our scope of air pollution research to include ozone, aerosols, acidification, eutrophication, climate change related issue and so on.
In Asia, formation of scientific epistemic community has long been delayed in air pollution research field in comparison to Europe and North America. But I believe it is now a good timing to establish such community among scientists in East Asian countries since there is a growing tendency to promote research in this field accompanying with economic growth in this region. As the Network Center of EANET, we hope to contribute to strengthening of EANET by building an epistemic community and activating international linkage within the EANET community.