Human health, agriculture, policy and SDGs workshop
IGDC Members Lisa Emberson and Eleanor Jew attended a workshop in Ghana to discuss what data we need to really understand how air pollution is linked to human health and agriculture. Read all about their visit here.
Accra, July 2019
In July members of the University of York’s IGDC Lisa Emberson and Eleanor Jew attended a workshop in Ghana, attended by participants from SEI York and Africa, the Ugandan African Centre for Clean Air, the University of Ghana, Ghana Environmental Protection Agency and UN representatives. The workshop took an interdisciplinary approach to discuss what data we need to really understand how air pollution is linked to human health and agriculture, and how policy can be developed to meet the SDGs and reduce air pollution.
Engagement across a range of presentations and discussions identified that there are few data from African cities on levels of air pollution, and that in rural areas there is even less. Many of the sources of air pollution affect rural and urban areas alike, with smoke from indoor cooking recognised as one of the greatest hidden pollutants, disproportionately affecting women. This links to deforestation and land use change, alternative energy supplies, access and cultural identity. Other sources affect urban and rural areas very differently, such as traffic and living conditions.
The effects of air pollution are wide-ranging, from direct mortality and increased morbidly through higher vulnerability to non-communicable diseases, to reduced productivity and capacity to innovate. To design effective policies to reduce air pollution we need to gather data on human activity, disease burdens and air pollution in a range of contexts, by gender, social status, age and location. We also need to know what drives air pollution, and how low emission development pathways can be achieved.
To tackle these questions we are designing a research project to strengthen data collection and analysis in rural and urban areas across West Africa. Watch this space for more news!