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Independent network of devices set by WWF measure air quality

17 february 2021
The project was supported by “People For Nature” project of WWF and Eurocomission. Sensors prove the poor air quality of Ulan-Ude, information about possible sources of pollution has been made public

Employees of "BaikalEkoAction", regional non-governmental organization of the Republic of Buryatia, shared the first results of monitoring the level of air pollution in Ulan-Ude using sensors’ devices installed in some districts of the city.

The air quality monitoring network of seventeen sensors in Ulan-Ude was installed in the different part of the city was installed in December 2020 as part of the WWF-Russia project "People for Nature", implemented with the support of the European Union.

According to Svetlana Ivanova, head of the BaikalEkoAction NGO, the sensor readings prove the poor air quality in Ulan-Ude. Experts identified the particular parts of the city where emissions are recorded regularly, and tentatively name the sources of pollution.

The volunteers of Ulan-Ude city install the devices in the city
(c) "BaikalEkoAction", regional non-governmental organization
“For example, on Ermakovskaya street, a high level of air pollution is regularly recorded at 11 pm and at night. It is difficult to imagine that at this time the private sector is actively heating stoves with coal or wood. We assume that the source of pollution is emissions from the nearest industrial facility. Our guesses are also confirmed by the sensor readings on Solnechnaya Street, which correlate in time with emissions on Ermakovskaya Street. Polluted air is transferred to Solnechnaya in accordance with the wind rose,” says Svetlana Ivanova, head of the BaikalEkoAction NGO.

Eco-activists registered a daily increase of the air pollution by solid particles from 7 P.M. This corresponds with the emissions from private sector stoves when residents return home and start heating stoves in their homes. Today, project’s leaders have previously identified the alleged industrial sources of pollution on the streets: Ermakovskaya, Babushkina, Ivolginsky lane, in the village of Sotnikovo.

We believe that our project is primarily aimed at informing citizens, drawing attention to the problem of polluted air in Ulan-Ude. People with respiratory diseases can check the website and decide whether to go outside today or not, because sensors often show dangerous pollution that can affect a person's well-being. The visual picture of air pollution will not silence the problem that we, ecoactivists, are helping the authorities and citizens to solve: we show the areas of pollution, record the level and time. Today, information about the pollution is available on the online map on baikal20.ru,” says Svetlana Ivanova, head of the BaikalEcoAction NGO.
The online map of sensors and data on pollution on the website of the ecoactivists.
(c) WWF

Interim data from the monitoring network of social activists were transferred to the East Baikal Environmental Prosecutor's Office with a proposal to check emissions of the alleged sources - industrial facilities and small boiler houses in the main areas where there is an atypical increase in emissions at night.

«Ulan-Ude city is a city with the close level of air pollution to the city I live, Krasnoyarsk city. The capital of Buryatia is located in the basin, emissions of pipes from small boilers and stoves, emissions from cars are low, polluted air accumulates and hangs over the city like a "pillow". If there is no wind, the city suffocates, the regime of unfavorable weather conditions is officially announced,” says Alexander Kolotov, the coordinator of the industrial component of the WWF project“ People for Nature ”.

To reduce the level of air pollution in Ulan-Ude, the social and ecological foundation "BaikalEcoAction"  NGO proposes: to control emissions from small boiler houses, to inform the population about the problem of air pollution, to ensure the development of heat and power grids, to develop a belt of green spaces around the city, to regulate the further development of urban planning, from the dense infill development of the city, not provided with the standard area of green spaces.

The People for Nature project is implemented by WWF Russia with the support of the European Union and aims to engage a wide range of stakeholders in environmental protection. The project will be carried out in 2019-2022. Its tasks are as follows: preservation of forests by preventing degradation and illegal use of forests, as well as reducing the negative impact of industry on the environment by reducing air pollution and increasing the environmental responsibility of business.

For additional information please contact
Altai-Sayan ecoregional press-officer
Head of the Altai-Sayan Ecoregional Office