In the 15 years of the project's life, important improvements were made, which can no longer be rolled back:
There are clear signs that the government assumes its leadership role in the issues of Aire Limpio. For example, it intends to implement an Air Quality Policy, creating a National Air Quality Management Committee, which is the national coordinating body for the improvement of urban air quality.
Citizen awareness, environmental education and technical training have changed the way people perceive air quality and the transport problem. Now they strongly advocate an end to environmental pollution and want to have a voice in transport options.
The positioning of the issue of clean air on the political agenda has become very important and has gained broad popular support.
The creation of an adequate legal framework by the Ministry of Transport that will establish responsibilities, obligations and controls in the import of vehicles and the reduction of emissions is a legal landmark which will help to improve air quality immensely. Though unfortunately, the fuel quality has not yet been improved and this is an issue which needs to be addressed.
The urban mobility plan, the municipal transportation programmes (PROMUT), which include the Puma Katari bus line in La Paz, the Wayna Bus in El Alto and the cable car "Mi Teleférico" between La Paz and El Alto, have had an enormous impact on society and the environment and are functioning well. The improvements of pedestrian sidewalks in the cities of La Paz and Tarija are other positive examples, as well as the celebrations of the National Day of the Pedestrian and Cyclist (one day per year where all road traffic is prohibited), which attracts a great deal of of attention.
The implementation of the Air Quality Monitoring Network (Red MoniCA) in all the cities covered by the project also had a very positive impact and received positive feedback from mayors and the inhabitants in general.
The Air Quality Monitoring, Vehicle Emissions and Urban Mobilisation components have all been incorporated into the governmental and municipal plans and no longer depend on the project.
The Way Forward
SDC and Swisscontact have completed their initial objective but there is still a lot of work to be done. The bases have been set, the people are positioned, and we hope that others can continue to promote this visionary and innovative project.