It's been a busy November for me so far, mostly due to tons of meetings and conferences. Most recently, I spent the past week down in Bangkok for the Better Air Quality 2008 (BAQ2008) conference.
All in all, the conference (actually my whole trip to Thailand in general) was just incredible - one of the best conferences I've ever attended. I had hoped to blog about the conference while down there, but internet access was sporadic for me, plus I was pretty engaged with meetings / discussions / panels for the entire time.
Over the next week, I will try to post up highlights from some of the presentations. In the meantime, I want to publicize the program, from which you can download most of the presentations. If you want to become an overnight expert on air quality in Asian mega-cities (plus a myriad of related issues like transport demand management, urban planning, health effects, links to fuel economy and GHG emissions, role of technology) these presentations are a fantastic place to start.
Before expanding on individual panels and presentations, though, I want to sing the praises for a moment of the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia). I was somewhat familiar with the group before, especially their excellent work summarizing Beijing Olympic air quality data, but it wasn't until this conference that I gained such tremendous respect for their dedication, organization, impact, and spirit. In just a few years, CAI-Asia has become the leading voice promoting partnerships and the sharing of air quality improvement experience throughout developing Asia. The incredible breadth and depth of this conference are testaments to the way they have catalyzed governments, NGOs, academics, and the private sector to work together towards the common goal of improving air quality in all cities.
Plus, I have to give them credit just for being so much fun...and recognizing that conferences are so much better when they are punctuated with singing, jokes, props, inspirational music, and the occasional strobe light...
Before signing off, I also wanted to mention that, earlier this month, I attended the very good 4th Regional Air Quality Management Conference from 11/6-7. Fulbright scholar Scott Moore has a good summary of the first day up on his great new blog, China Greenspace. As time permits, I will try to post up some comments on the second day, especially the transportation panel.