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Project Duration: 2018 – 2019

Grantor: British Council

Grant Amount: GBP 49,960

Project Principal Investigator: Dr. Kirsti Ashworth, Lancaster University, UK


ATPS Project Co-Investigator: Dr. Nicholas Ozor, Executive Director, ATPS, Kenya

Other partner: Prof. Paul Beukes, North Western University, South Africa           

Project Description/ Background

Approximately 80% of the world’s population do not have access to clean air which exceeds the World health Organization limits with the burden being heavily felt by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) low income countries, many being in sub-Saharan Africa. With approximately 20% of the world’s population and less than 1% of the estimated global wealth, Africa’s population and ecosystems are highly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Africa has a rapidly growing populations coupled with increased urbanization and Industrialization, leading to changing and increasing sources of pollution in parallel with changing patterns of precipitation and extreme climate events. Despite this, the Continent is the most under-represented region in global atmospheric science research. Its population and ecosystems are not only likely to be the most threatened by future global change, but also the least resilient to mitigate the impacts. These changes can substantially affect global climate and atmospheric composition.

This project aims to bring together talented Early Career Researchers (ECRs) from UK, Kenya and South Africa to explore the current status of air pollution research in sub-Saharan Africa and to develop a roadmap for advancement. Stakeholders from academia, industry, policy advisory groups and NGOs will be involved in a one week workshop sessions, enabling ECRs to form important relationships with practitioners ensuring future research is targeted and transformative.

Key Objectives and Activities

  • To establish a cohort of ECRs currently engaged in chemistry-climate and air pollution research in UK, Kenya and South Africa, who have the potential to become future research leaders;
  • To facilitate cross-boundary networking and identify common experience on which to build future collaborative partnerships with fellow ECR, established scientists, policymakers and stakeholders;
  • To introduce ECRs to a wide range of techniques and skills required to pursue cutting-edge, transformative atmospheric research;
  • To raise awareness of the need for trans-disciplinary co-produced research to holistically tackle the challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • To establish the current state of science and future needs of the atmospheric research community to address the growing issue of air pollution, climate change and their impacts on society in and around emerging mega-cities.

Expected Outputs and Outcomes

  • The workshop will help nurture new talent and new collaborative partnerships that will enable the atmospheric science community to identify the needs of all stakeholders and to steer future research to meet these needs.
  • Participants will establish close working relationships with others in the field.
  • Partner institutions will establish new links and strengthen existing ties, leading to an agreement to work collaboratively in the future that may result to new funding opportunities.
  • The workshop will provide a roadmap outlining the current status of atmospheric chemistry-climate-AQ-impacts research in Africa, and setting out a strategic plan to address key research priorities and needs in the medium to long term.

Project Outputs

  1. Air Quality Trilateral Workshop Report

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