GEMS/AIR (WHO) INFORMATION
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
| The Global Environmental Monitoring System for Air Pollution (GEMS/AIR)
is an urban air pollution monitoring and assessment program. Since
its beginnings in 1973, GEMS/AIR has served to strengthen the capacity
of participating countries in urban air quality management by providing
training, monitoring equipment, quality assurance, and technical information
exchange. The program, which has been jointly operated by the World
Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) since 1975, is a component of the UN Earthwatch system.
Since 1973, the GEMS/AIR network has included some 270 cities in 86 cities in 45 countries. Monitoring stations are run by the national or city authorities who voluntarily contribute their data to the GEMS/AIR global database. The cities represent a wide range of climatic and socioeconomic conditions, as well as different levels of development and air pollution control capabilities. GEMS/AIR is the only global program which provides long-term air pollution monitoring for cities in industrialized and developing countries, thus providing assessments on the levels and trends of urban air pollutants worldwide and their effect on human and ecosystem health. In recognition of the increasing challenges faced by the escalating urbanization all over the world, an expanded GEMS/AIR program is planned for 1993-2000.
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