The GoGreen Initiative by Optiven joined the world in celebrating the 2nd International Day of Clean Air for blue skies. The day celebrated in Nairobi, Bangkok and New York gave cognizant attention to what must be done to better our environment. It was noted that air pollution remains a global problem with far-reaching impacts due to its transboundary nature.

With the emerging variants of COVID-19, clean air is one of the greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease. Lack of clean air globally is causing an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year.

Speaking on the sidelines of the observation, Cathrine Khasoa of GoGreen Initiative noted that, “to raise awareness and mobilize global action to address air pollution September 7th should be our every day concern.” Her sentiments echo the global Celebration as the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is celebrated on 7/9/2021.

The 2021 theme is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet” which emphasizes the correlation between human and planetary health, which is particularly relevant in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The observation in Nairobi engaged a high-level dialogue among experts and government representatives on policy and actions to tackle air pollution. The event also discussed findings of key United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports on the subject.

The session was hosted by Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director and moderated by Andrea Hinwood, UNEP Chief Scientist and included panelists from the civil society, academia as well as government leaders discussing the impact of air pollution on health, the economy and climate, remaining challenges and gaps, as well as successful policies and actions.