MANILA – The Philippines will be part of an international collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to study and address air quality issues in the Asian region, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga announced on Sunday.
Loyzaga disclosed that NASA will be conducting scientific research flights that are specifically designed to study the atmosphere of Metro Manila and its surrounding regions, with engineers and air quality specialists of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR boarding the flights and learning from the NASA scientists on board.
“This collaboration with NASA and other respected partners will lead to significant advances in our understanding of air pollution and our ability to tackle this pressing issue,” Loyzaga said.
“The data gathered from the research flights will be used in our programs to mitigate air quality issues that affect public health and to address climate change,” she added.
The partnership, called Airborne and Satellite Investigation of Asian Air Quality (ASIA – AQ), brings together experts from NASA in the United States, the DENR, South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), and Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA).
Loyzaga said the NASA mission will be using advanced satellite technology, ground-based observations, and airborne missions to gain a better understanding of the air quality problems specific to Metro Manila.
“The collaboration will help to improve air quality models, provide accurate forecasts, and develop effective policies to ensure better air quality in the future,” she added.
In the Philippines, this collaboration also involves the Philippine Space Agency, Manila Observatory, Ateneo de Manila University, and the University of the Philippines.
They will be joining hands to understand and tackle air pollution challenges in the region. (PND/PNA)