Bilateral collaboration in Colombia

Blå buss på bussgata i Cali, Columbia
The Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system in Cali, named MIO.

Emissions of particulate matter and black carbon and their impact on air quality in the Cali Region

There exists in Colombia a pronounced concern about the emissions and impacts of fine particles and black carbon (BC) in populated urban areas, mainly due to well-documented health impacts of exposure to PM2.5 and combustion particles, but also due to the climatic warming effect of black carbon in the atmosphere. Manifests of this concern are found in the new air quality legislation with a tightened upper limit value for PM2.5 similar to the EU directive and also through the active participation of Colombia in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) efforts to reduce short-lived climate forcers like black carbon. Various Colombian cities and metropolitan regions – among them Cali Region - have recently invested in black carbon monitors as a complement to their networks covering PM2.5 and other regulated measurements.

Following seminars and conferences showing results from Sweden’s bilateral cooperation in Chile and Brazil with focus on PM2.5 and BC, SMHI received in 2017 a question if such a technical cooperation could be feasible also for the Cali Region. A first planning phase for a bilateral cooperation with Colombia was initiated in Cali May 2018 in which participated the regional environmental authority CVC, the municipal environmental department DAGMA, the university Universidad Autónoma de Occidente (UAO) and SMHI. It was decided to organize, as a first step, an international workshop targeting BC assessments, to share experiences from different countries and cities of monitoring and modeling fine particles and black carbon. The workshop “Black Carbon in Colombia” took place 28-30 November 2018 in the premises of UAO and counted 46 participants from Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Sweden.

The topics and presentations discussed at the November 2018 BC workshop can be accessed here. 

During 2019 the bilateral project in the Cali region has focused the building up of databases for monitored PM2.5 and BC, an emission inventory to be used for dispersion modeling and meteorological analyses based on measurements and wind modeling. A workshop was organized 9th-11th of October to gather institutions with relevant information and knowledge of activities that have impact on PM2.5 and BC levels in the Cali region. The workshop, held at the UAO university, counted 35 participants.

The presentations given at the October 2019 workshop, focusing PM2.5 and BC in Valle de Cauca, can be be accessed here.