A Breath of Fresh Air: Talking Air Pollution and Health In Jakarta

Ambassador Blake joined a panel of Government of Indonesia officials, NGO’s, and academics at an Earth Day event on air quality monitoring and the effect of air pollution on health on April 21 at @america.  In his opening remarks, the Ambassador recounted the history of the U.S. environmental movement, and how public environmental awareness and pressure was the catalyst for the passage of U.S. environmental laws which significantly improved air pollution in U.S. cities.  An academic expert from Hong Kong, who works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its “Breathe Easy Jakarta” air quality partnership, also joined the discussion virtually by digital video conference.   University students in the audience took an air quality quiz via iPads, with the display of real-time responses that were the springboard for audience interaction with the panel from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Indonesian meteorological agency, a public health professor from the University of Indonesia, and the head of a leading Indonesian environmental NGO.  This event kicked off Embassy Jakarta’s participation in the Worldwide Embassy Air Quality Monitoring effort, a Department of State initiative where air quality meters measure PM 2.5 particulate matter, a component of polluted air that contributes both to climate change and to adverse respiratory and cardiovascular impacts on human health.

A Breath of Fresh Air: How Air Quality Affects Your Health