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For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:

Kratae Kandhana: ThailandCleanAirNetwork@gmail.com

Victoria Ekstrom High: vekstrom@uchicago.edu

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatia: gbhatia@vitalstrategies.org

Bondan Andriyanu: bondan.andriyanu@greenpeace.org




**Media Advisory**

March 4, 2022

9.30 – 11.00 ICT

21:30 – 23:00 EST

Register here

“Fighting to Breathe”

Together We Can Make Air Breathable Again:

#Fighting2Breathe #March4Air



Virtual discussion will feature leaders developing cutting-edge research on the nexus of air pollution and public health, medical and public health practitioners, environmental lawyer and public campaigners in Thailand and Indonesia, who are all collectively fighting to protect everyone’s right to breathe.

On Friday, March 4, 2022, the citizen-driven Thai clean air coalition Thailand Clean Air Network alongside, Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) at the University of Chicago, global public health organization Vital Strategies and the Indonesian Clean Air Coalition or IBUKOTA will be jointly hosting a webinar #Fighting2Breathe.

This virtual webinar will showcase the release of the AQLI’s latest data on air pollution’s impact on life expectancy in Thailand, among the most polluted countries in Southeast Asia. A global health expert will share how we can continue to protect the public’s health while maintaining rapid economic development. From actions taken in Thailand to push for the first, bona fide citizen-driven Clean Air Act in the country to the judicial process taken by Indonesia’s civil society coalition that led to the landmark court win against the Indonesian government for failure to improve air quality in Jakarta – our expert panelists will be sharing their wins and challenges that still confound them in #Fighting2Breathe.

The event is timed to be part of a public awareness building event in support of the submission of the first bona fide, citizen-driven Clean Air Bill to the Thai Parliament, whichtook place on 21 January, 2022. The fate of this important draft legislation hangs in the balance and requires a groundswell of public support to ensure just a chance of it being deliberated in the Thai Parliament

Speakers

  • Dr.Kenneth Lee, Director, Air Quality Life Index (or AQLI), Energy Policy Institute, University of Chicago
  • Wirun Limsawart, M.D., Ph.D.,Director of Society & Health Institute, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand and a co-founder of the Thailand Clean Air Network.
  • Dr. Sumi Mehta, Senior Epistemologist, Vital Strategies.
  • Fajri Fadhillah, Environmental Lawyer, Indonesia Center for Environmental Law
  • Bondan Andriyanu, Climate & Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Date: March 4, 2022

Time: 9:30-11:00 ICT (Bangkok Time/Jakarta Time), 21.30-23.00 EST (New York Time)

Register: https://tinyurl.com/37d79a54

The event will be in English with summary translation in Thai, if required

Speaker Bios

Ken Lee is the Director of Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) and a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Economics, University of Chicago. Prior to this role, Ken served as the Executive Director of EPIC India, and a Research Fellow at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) and the Energy Institute at Haas. Ken studies questions in the areas of development economics, environmental, and energy economics, and has designed field experiments in Kenya and India. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MIA from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University.

Wirun Limsawart is a medical anthropologist, medical doctor, and the Director of the Society and Health Institute, Thai Ministry of Public Health. The role of this institute is dedicated to bringing medical anthropology into practical applications and policy discussions. Wirun is also a co-founder of the Thailand Clean Air Network. He was instrumental in leading the charge to obtain buy-in at the Thai Ministry of Public Health to commit to developing the Air Quality Health Index (or AQHI) for Thailand. He also led the initial drive to develop the Citizen Air Monitoring Network (or C-Air), which, if successfully launched, would be the first citizen-led nationwide air quality monitoring platform for Thailand. Wirun was also the editor of the Clean Air White Paper. He holds a Masters and Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from Harvard University and a medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University.

Sumi Mehta is a global health professional at Vital Strategies with over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of air pollution, health, and development. Prior to is a global health professional at Vital Strategies with over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of air pollution, health, and development. Prior to.

Fajri Fadhillah obtained his law degree from the Faculty of Law, the University of Indonesia in 2015 with a focus on the principle of prudence in environmental law. Fajri was involved in several advocacy cases related to pollution control and/or environmental damage, among them a citizen’s lawsuit about Jakarta air pollution and a judicial review against the President’s Regulation on Accelerating the Construction of Waste Power Plants with Thermal Technology in Seven Cities. Fajri also has experience in advocating regulations in the field of pollution control and/or environmental damage, among other, in the field of air pollution control and in the field of waste reduction. At this time, Fajri focuses on developing environmental law, especially in the field of pollution control and environmental damage, both in terms of prevention, environmental monitoring and law enforcement.

Bondan Andriyanu is the Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia with over 15 years of experience in driving public communication campaigns. Since 2017, Bondan has focused on air pollution work, specifically in campaigning for the reduction of fossil fuel with a focus on coal, in particular, which is a significant source of air pollution in Indonesia. His work is focused on increasing the health impact awareness of air pollution through public education training. Bondan obtained his undergraduate degree in geography from the University of Indonesia.

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About Thailand Clean Air Network (or Thailand CAN)

The Thailand Clean Air Network is a citizen-driven, volunteer group of professionals from many disciplines that work collaboratively with policy-makers, the private sector, academia and civil society to seek long-term, sustainable solutions to Thailand’s air pollution problem. To this end, the group drafted and submitted the first, bona fide citizen-driven Clean Air Bill to the Thai Parliament on Jan 21, 2022. The group adopts a rights-based approach with the belief that every person should have the right to breathe clean air, which is inherently the very right to life itself. To find out more, please visit https://thailandcan.org/

About Air Quality Life Index (or AQLI)

The AQLI translates particulate air pollution concentrations into perhaps the most important metric that exists: its impact on life expectancy. Developed by the University of Chicago’s Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics Michael Greenstone and his team at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), the AQLI is rooted in research quantifying the causal relationship between long-term human exposure to air pollution and life expectancy. The Index combines this research with hyper-localized, global particulate measurements, yielding unprecedented insight into the true cost of particulate pollution in communities around the world. The Index also illustrates how air pollution policies can increase life expectancy when they meet the World Health Organization’s guideline for what is considered a safe level of exposure, existing national air quality standards, or user- defined air quality levels. This information can help to inform local communities and policymakers about the importance of air pollution policies in concrete terms. To find out more, please visit https://aqli.epic.uchicago.edu

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.

About the Indonesian Clean Air Coalition (or IBUKOTA)

The Clean Air Coalition (or IBUKOTA) combines a large number of individuals and organizations to fight fiercely for clean air in Indonesia. In September, 2021, IBUKOTA’s legal coalition led the charge in a landmark case in which the Indonesian court ruled that President Joko Widodo and members of his government had neglected citizens’ rights to clean air and were ordered to take measures to improve the poor air quality in the capital.

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