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Regional air quality management: from science to policy


Recently, air pollution, the PM2.5 pollution in particular, has drawn extensive concern in the public in China. The environmental authorities are requested to adopt effective measures to improve air quality so as to protect public health. In the city clusters and rapidly developing regions in China, air pollution has been evolved into the so-called "air pollution complex" that is characterized by the concurrence of multiple problems including photochemical smog, haze, acid deposition, etc.. The contribution factors of "air pollution complex" are complicated with substantial influences from secondary processes and regional transport, making the efficiency of the traditional command-control air quality management largely depressed. Current pollution control techniques, devices and policy-making processes cannot afford for this new level of air quality management. It is therefore urgently needed to strengthen the technological innovation of air pollution control, elevate the scientific support in improving air quality, and develop the air pollution prevention innovation system that shall include atmospheric theory, pollution control technique, monitoring and warning technique, and policy-making supporting technique that are catered to the national conditions of China.

Amid this new situation, regional air quality management has to combine more closely with scientific research. The findings of scientific research can promote the policy-making, while the demand in policy-making should in turn force the direction of scientific research. Following the success of the first three Workshops (which were being held in 2007, 2009 and 2011) on Regional Air Quality Management in Rapidly Developing Economic Regions, with the continuous supports from the environmental authorities and academic institutes in Hong Kong and Guangdong, and also leveraging the focus of the recently published Special issue of Atmospheric Environment on "Improving Regional Air Quality over the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong: from Science to Policy", we plan to hold "The 4th International Workshop on Regional Air Quality Management in Rapidly Developing Economic Regions" themed by "Regional Air Quality Management: from Science to Policy" on 14-17 January 2014 in Hong Kong, China.

Building upon the last three conferences and the AE Special Issue, this workshop aims at building a high-level platform for environmental experts, technicians, government officials, enterprise managers, etc. to review the air quality sciences and pollution control policies, and put forward effective action ideas within the next five to ten years to expedite the interaction and transformation between scientific fruits and pollution control policy so as to make contributions in improving regional air quality and protecting public health. It is hoped that the conference can produce a summary (or a few summaries) to be submitted for journal publication regarding the direction of air quality science research and air control policy priorities in the next five to ten years for regional air quality improvement in China.

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