The Aire Limpio (Clean Air) Project contributed to the protection of Bolivia’s population, as well as the environment against the effects of air pollution. The results: CO2 emissions have decreased by 370,000 tonnes, and 12 Bolivian cities have designed sustainable mobility plans and are currently implementing them. Aside from this, a national air quality measurement network has been installed. The Aire Limpio project was an SDC project and implemented by Swisscontact from 2003 until 2018.
Poor air quality in urban areas is a public health problem caused mainly by the emission of air pollutants from the transport sector. In Bolivia, the vehicle fleet has seen exponential growth. From less than half a million vehicles in 2003 to close to 2 million in 2018. This, together with a lack of environmental regulations to remove old vehicles from circulation, has led the country to have one of the oldest and most heavily polluting vehicle fleets in the region.
Aire Limpio with its four phases (2003 - 2018) has been a long-term project that assisted Bolivia, through the Vice-Ministries of Environment and Transport and local governments, to implement air quality management systems and to improve urban mobility. The results were only achieved due to the fact that it was understood that these processes take time as well as a very strong sense of awareness of the risks and problems caused by air pollution and traffic congestion.
The most significant contribution of the Aire Limpio Project has been the establishment of a clear plan for the country; to improve air quality through the improvement of urban mobility systems. The implementation of the first quality and clean public transport projects such as cable cars and municipal bus systems marked a turning point in the history of urban transport in Bolivia.
I am very grateful to SDC for the support of and commitment to this mission with Swisscontact, and to the entire team that over the past 15 years, through their professional assistance, their engagement in the project and their passion for clean air, supported me.
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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