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Clean Air (Aire Limpio)

From its commencement in August 2003, Swisscontact has worked on the implementation of the 'Aire limpio' clean air project in La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, which are the largest cities with the highest number of vehicles. Later, and as the number of vehicles increased, Aire Limpio expanded and now covers eight of the nine regional capitals and two other cities. The series of measures favouring more sustainable urban transport that has been put in place recently or is about to be implemented have become public services; Swisscontact in Bolivia has been investing in these processes for more than ten years.

The Project

The project's role is as a process facilitator and provider of specialist technical aid to the different agents involved in implementing the measures aimed at reducing atmospheric pollution in the cities of Bolivia.

The project concentrates on: helping local councils and the central government to complete the legal framework for air quality and urban transport; to provide technical assistance to the public and private sectors so that they can apply measures for reducing and preventing air pollution as a function of the roles assigned to them by the legal framework; this approach does not create dependency and enables the project to withdraw when the system is functioning properly, leaving installed capacity behind it.

Air Quality Monitoring
One important element of the air pollution problem is understanding the actual air quality in Bolivia's cities, and this is possible through the Air Quality Monitoring Network (Red MoniCA), which facilitates planning and measuring the effectiveness of air quality and urban transport measures.

Vehicle Technical Inspections
Although vehicle technical inspections will start as a pilot project by municipal governments, it is hoped that they will quickly become the starting point for improved vehicle maintenance and control, leading to a gradual renewal of fleet thus reducing pollution and fuel consumption and improving road safety.

Sustainable Urban Transport
Improving transport is of great benefit to the population, by facilitating access to more efficient, modern and safe systems that cover greater areas for longer periods of time and also make a substantial contribution to reducing air pollution.


Achievements of Aire Limpio

  • 12 municipal Air Quality Monitoring networks created and strengthened with equipment, training and advice.
  • National Air Quality Reference Laboratory created and strengthened at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés: it provides training, generates postgraduate courses and monitors the quality of the monitoring networks' operation.
  • National Air Quality Program created in the Ministry of Environment and Water, it has published 5 National Air Quality Reports with data from monitoring networks.
  • 4 Vehicle Technical Inspection centers have been implemented in 4 cities in Bolivia and 2 more are under construction.
  • The General Transport Law No. 165 mandates the implementation of the National Vehicle Technical Inspection System and incorporates the entire vision of sustainable urban mobility
  • 6 municipalities have Municipal Urban Mobility Laws
  • 4 municipalities have created the Secretariats of Urban Mobility
  • 9 municipal transport programmes have been developed.
  • La Paz has established the Municipal Transport Service "La Paz Bus - Puma Katari" with 6 routes in operation and a 2020 target of 20 routes (40 million trips until 12.2017).
  • The National Government has created the National Cable Car Company "Mi Teleférico", which to date has carried 100 million passengers.
  • El Alto has implemented the "Wayna Bus" municipal transport service with 2 routes in operation.
  • Integration of La Paz Bus with the cable transport system achieved.
  • Cochabamba has already built 10 km of urban bicycle lanes, with a goal of 100 km by 2020.
  • In 14 years, the project has achieved a reduction of 370,000 t of CO2 in the different projects implemented.

Project partner

  • Ministry of Production, General Directorate of Environmental Affairs
  • Ministry of the Environment, Directorate of Environmental Management and the General Directorate of Climate Change, Desertification and Water Resources

Project countries

  • Bolivia

Project duration

2010 - 2017


  • SDC

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org