Conferences and Meetings

Our meetings programme is focused around the triennial World Clean Air Congress, with regional conferences in intervening years.

The unique feature of the Congress is that it covers all atmospheric issues, and brings together a uniquely wide range of participants: government ministers and officials; representatives of international organisations; heads of industry and industrial specialists; local government officials; representatives of professional bodies; academics and researchers; private individuals and the media.

The World Congress is complemented by a continuous series of regional conferences, often focusing on special themes and topical issues.

Projects and Policy Initiatives

Special projects and initiatives are undertaken from time to time to help address major current international air pollution issues. Currently these include the following:

Reducing the Impact of Transport on Air and Environmental Quality on Mega-Cities

Through a series of international seminars and other initiatives the Union aimed to help promote co-operation between countries and cities in finding novel and effective solutions to the challenge to health and the environment posed by the impact of transportation in cities.

Particulate Air Pollution: Global and Regional Perspectives

Particulate air pollution is a major cause of illness and advanced deaths around the globe. But the nature and composition of the pollution varies between regions. This programme aims to encourage a broader global perspective to help guide international co-operation and priorities.

Global Atmospheric Pollution Forum

The Forum, established in 2005 by the Union in association with the Stockholm Environment Institute, responded to the need to address co-operatively emerging regional, hemispheric and global air pollution problems, and to link air pollution abatement with climate change. Partner bodies in the Forum included the UNECE Convention on Long-Range transport of Air Pollution, UNEP, and most of the regional governmental and non-governmental networks concerned with regional air pollution.

Its programme has focused on four main areas:

  1. Inter-Governmental Networks: Encouraging the establishment or strengthening of regional air pollution networks around the world;
  2. Technical Co-operation and Capacity-Building: Encouraging the harmonisation of technical systems and information and assessment processes between regions and providing a stronger basis for effective capacity building in those regions where it is most needed; and
  3. Consensus Building and Policy Development: Promoting consensus among regional groups and stakeholders on scientific and policy issues to help support the emergence of cooperative action on air pollution at inter-regional, hemispheric and global scales.
  4. Air Pollution and Climate Change: Developing integrated strategies for the two areas which can ensure co-benefits and reduce the long-term costs of achieving objectives in both areas.

Its 2008 Stockholm Conference played a critical role in promoting international interest in the control of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants as a means of securing health, climate and food security benefits.

The ultimate aim of the Union is to achieve the adoption and effective implementation of policies which can secure a clean and healthy atmospheric environment. We bring together scientists, policy-makers, regulators, business and citizen groups with this objective.

Our practical objectives focus on the development and implementation of more effective policies for the prevention and control of air pollution, the protection of the environment and the adoption of sustainable development.
We pursue our objectives through the promotion of scientific understanding and the development of skills and techniques, and the review and development of policies at local, national and international level. We work through:

  • convening world congresses every three years;
  • sponsoring regional conferences for developing countries;
  • disseminating information about pollution legislation and control techniques;
  • encouraging wider research and scientific co-operation;
  • developing programmes and initatives on international environmental issues;
  • liaising with other national and international scientific, technical and control organizations.

World congresses focus on particular themes such as integrating climate and pollution strategies (London, 2004), and securing environmental sustainability in the new era of resource constraint and financial uncertainty (Vancouver, 2010). They normally result in agreed declarations which then guide policy development.

Our international seminar series (for instance the series on mitigating the impact of transport on air quality in mega-cities) and our research and development programmes focus on narrower issues over a longer time period, with the aim of developing more detailed policies and guidance.

Recent policy reviews and declarations have focused on climate change, securing co-benefits from integrated climate pollution strategies, regulating the long-range transport of air pollution, and - in the 2010 Congress in Vancouver - how to secure environmental sustainability in the new circumstances of more intensive resource constraints and financial uncertainty.

Currently the principal policy goal of the Union is securing health, climate and food security co-benefits through reduction of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs).
What we do and why . . . 

Air pollution is implicated in over 7 million deaths and tens of millions of respiratory and other illnesses each year. It damages ecosystems and affects quality of life, reduces economic activity and reinforces the cycle of poverty in many areas of the world.

It does not respect national boundaries. Many pollutants are transported long distances between contries and between regions and in some cases at hemisphere and global scale.

Solutions now require co-operation at all levels - from the local to the global. And these solutions must reflect the linkages between air pollution and other social, economic and environmental issues, as well.

IUAPPA's goal is to help develop and promote such solutions.  It brings together governmental and non-governmental organisations from across the world to share scientific and technical information to help develop more effective air pollution control policies.

In pursuit of its objectives IUAPPA promotes the World Clean Air Congress and regional meetings, supports  technical and policy development in key areas such as the air quality impact of transport in cities, and leads international initiatives - such as the Global Atmospheric Pollution Forum.

Who we are . . .

Founded in 1964, the Union is open to national associations which share our objectives and meet relevant criteria, in particular the requirement to be open to people from all political, religious and cultural affiliations.

The Union now has member organisations in 40 countries and partners, networks or representatives in most others.
It is funded by annual subscriptions from members and grants and donations from appropriate bodies.

The Union is led by an International Board headed by the President, and including five Vice-Presidents, the Immediate Past President, the Honorary Treasurer and one representative of each member association. The Board meets annually, or more often If required.  

The Union’s Secretariat is supported by an Executive Committee, which consists of the President, the five Vice- Presidents, the Immediate Past President, the Honorary Treasurer and the Director General, together with a representative of the organising committee of the next Congress and up to three further co-opted members.  

Headed by IUAPPA’s Director General, the Secretariat is responsible for the Union’s programme, operations and publications.