This project will deliver a valuable air quality (AQ) resource for future modelling studies both within Vietnam and internationally. It will help increase coordinated observational and analytical activities between regulatory/compliance bodies and academic institutions allowing for the better utilisation of data from existing monitoring, as well as help define future monitoring and analysis methodologies in a resource limited and logistically difficult environment.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes poor air quality as the largest single environmental health risk and attributes 8 million deaths annually to the consequences of exposure to air pollution. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in SE Asia and, as a result, has undergone rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and population growth.

This has led to the deterioration of air quality, with Vietnam being one of the most polluted countries in the world, ranked 170th out of 180 countries for air quality in a recent survey.

Air quality monitoring in Vietnam is patchy. Given the rapid economic development and the growth of cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, there is a pressing need for new, up-to-date air quality measurements and a reassessment of the major sources of the observed pollution.

This project will make measurements of a range of air quality indicators in the two largest cities in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City in the south and Hanoi in the north, in order to improve understanding of the concentrations and sources of air pollution in these contrasting environments.

The UK groups will take a range of analytical equipment to complement the existing measurements made by Vietnamese partners. These instruments will vastly improve the speciation of measurements currently available, allowing for better identification of key pollutants for human health, as well as emissions sources.

An important component of the project will be knowledge exchange and capacity building with the Vietnamese partners. This will include the hosting of Vietnamese staff in the UK for several months to learn techniques including particle filter analysis, air sensor technology and the use of source apportionment software such as PMF.

The resultant air pollution database will be the largest and most comprehensive in Vietnam to date and will serve as a valuable resource for future air quality modelling studies, the verification of emission inventories and for the design of effective reduction strategies, brining enormous benefit to current and future generations of Vietnam.