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Bureau of OES seeking Applications for Building Air Quality Monitoring Capacity in Southeast Asia

Bureau of OES seeking Applications for Building Air Quality Monitoring Capacity in Southeast Asia

Deadline: 31 May 2020

The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs’ (OES) Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues at the U.S. Department of State (DOS), has announced the Notice of Funding Opportunity (“NOFO”) for activities under the “Building Air Quality Monitoring Capacity in Southeast Asia” project. The agreement awarded will use U.S. Fiscal Year 2019 Economic Support Funds, subject to Congressional approval and availability of funds.

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The “Building Air Quality Monitoring Capacity in Southeast Asia” project intends to strengthen local capacity to monitor air quality and expand awareness of air quality issues among decision makers and the general public in at least two Southeast Asian countries. More specifically, the project would target key host government entities, universities, and NGOs to develop and enhance air quality monitoring capacity with low or medium cost sensors, educational materials on AQI PM2.5 and/or PM10, formal expert workshops, and through the services of a professional monitoring and evaluation expert to develop and design a monitoring and evaluation plan to be used by key agencies.

Program Goals

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Lack of air pollution monitoring negatively affects health outcomes and discourages public understanding of the public health problem. Having air pollution monitoring is essential for governments and civil society to build regulatory structures and advocate to manage emissions, development, and urban planning. The goal of the “Building Air Quality Monitoring Capacity in Southeast Asia” project is to increase local capacity to monitor air quality and expand awareness of air quality issues among decision-makers and the general public.
The project will provide technical support and capacity building to at least two countries eligible for funding to increase air quality monitoring capacity, develop regulatory structures, and increase public awareness of air pollution causes and consequences. Over time, with improved air quality data and monitoring, these stakeholders will influence policies and practices related to emissions, development, urban planning, waste management, agriculture practices, and climate change.
Expected Results

Improved spatial resolution of air pollution.
Increased intergovernmental and/or regional collaboration and synergies to streamline efforts to tackle air pollution issues.
Improved institutional capacity in managing air quality monitoring systems and understanding data to inform air quality management policies.
Improved public health through increased awareness of air pollution effects and control strategies.
Development, adoption, and/or implementation of focused air quality management policies as a result of this project.
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone precursor (NOx, VOCs, and CO) emissions reduced or avoided, if applicable.
Main Activities

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The project should include the following activities as applicable:

Increase Air Quality Monitoring Capacity: Develop and enhance local air quality monitoring capacity with low cost sensors and other equipment. Organizations should consider using U.S. environmental technologies and leverage existing U.S embassy monitors or local monitors as appropriate. Educational materials on AQI, PM2.5 and other key pollutants would be disseminated through formal expert workshops or by presenting expert research and policy papers to politicians and decision makers. Building foundational knowledge is fundamental in order to complement existing local efforts to expand the deployment of low or medium cost air sensors in major cities and secondary cities and to establish a nation-wide network of air quality monitoring.
Convene Air Quality Workshops: convene stakeholders such as policy leaders, technical experts, and air quality management practitioners to foster local capacity and potentially regional capacity in air quality monitoring and management. Foster cross-institution collaboration as applicable.
Develop Regulatory Structures through Technical Expertise: Develop and design a monitoring and evaluation plan to be used by key local or national level stakeholders engaged in air quality monitoring.
Increase Public Awareness of Air Pollution Causes and Consequences: Raise public awareness about air quality issues through the creation and dissemination of educational videos through public TV, social media platforms, and educational institutions.
Assist with Next Steps Beyond Monitoring: using data collected from air quality sensor network and other reliable sources, facilitate stakeholders to develop or strengthen emissions inventory, identify trends that may inform new policy or regulations to address air pollution, or enhance implementation of existing policies.
Note: Co-location of low cost monitors with U.S. embassy monitors on embassy grounds – which is encouraged to provide better confirmation /correlation of monitor readings — would require the recipient to enter into an agreement/MOU with the U.S. diplomatic post and may require the recipient to use U.S. environmental technologies after consultation with post security. This is a standard protocol to formalize the purpose of engagement at post and ensure the engagement meets certain security measures. Additionally, the recipient may incur costs outside of the grant award funding for fees associated with adding internet and electricity capability for the sensors. This cost ranges from $1000 to $4000 per year depending on what equipment and upgrades are needed. Funding under the agreement cannot be used to pay U.S. diplomatic posts; other sources of non-USG funding may be utilized. Payment for fees will be arranged with the applicable post and M/SS, the Department of State’s office which handles air monitor contracts. If the co-location occurs outside of embassy grounds such as an international school, recipients may not be required to enter into a separate agreement/MOU or incur additional costs.

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Additionally, raw, uncorrected data, along with the corrected data, must be made available for this project via file transfer protocol (FTP) or application programming interface (API) to incorporate into existing data management and data sharing platforms, such as AirNow.

Funding Information

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Estimated Total Program Funding: $ 296,296.

Eligibility Criteria

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Eligibility is limited to U.S. non-profit/nongovernmental organizations subject to section 501 (c) (3) of the U. S. tax code, foreign not-for-profit/nongovernmental organizations, U.S. and foreign educational institutions, and public international organizations.
Countries that may be eligible for funding under this award include: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=325949

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