U.S. Embassy Partners with PUAN and NUST for Expert Training on Air Quality

Islamabad, March 18, 2022 – Twenty-two environmental professionals from across Pakistan completed a U.S.-funded three-day master class on “Approaches to Air Quality and the Environment.”  The Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad organized the event in collaboration with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the university’s Professional Development Center.

The participants, all alumni of U.S. government-funded exchanges, engaged in a multidisciplinary course on the scientific, technological, economic, and regulatory aspects of air quality management.  Through academic and hands-on training, participants learned about air-quality laws and regulations, how to calculate the health and economic impacts of air quality, and how to monitor and manage air pollution sources by identifying pollution hotspots.  The three-day training marked the second phase of the master class program.  Last year, the same group focused on theoretical approaches to analyzing air pollution and quality.

Mr. Ray Castillo, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, congratulated the participants on successfully completing the program and urged them to act as catalysts of change to improve air quality and the environment through coordinated efforts.

“This year marks the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations, and together we can work to improve air quality to mitigate the most severe impacts of climate change,” Mr. Castillo said.  “Our collaboration on climate change and your participation in this master class is just one of many steps to ensure a safer, healthier planet for future generations.”

As an indication of the urgency of the problem, Dr. Rizwan Riaz, Pro Rector of Research Innovation & Commercialization at NUST, noted during the ceremony that poor air quality caused six percent of the deaths in Pakistan.  He called for greater awareness and urged increased action to find solutions to a shared problem that affects us all.

Mr. Castillo lauded the critical role that PUAN plays in strengthening people-to-people ties between the United States and Pakistan through initiatives like this training and applauded NUST for its world class expertise.  Mr. Castillo also congratulated NUST for its innovative training, calling it a model for raising awareness in Pakistan about climate change and for identifying solutions to the global problem.