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[우미래의생각] Southeast Asia’s Unseeable Future(동남아시아의 보이지 않는 미래)

우미래생각
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2020-03-30 09:30
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 동남아시아의 보이지 않는 미래


인턴 연구원 김수현


지금 한국은 미세먼지와의 전쟁 중이다. 공기청정기 판매는 7, 마스크 판매는 지난 해보다 270% 폭증했다. 하지만 미세먼지는 비단 한국만의 문제가 아니다. 베트남, 인도네시아, 태국 등의 동남아시아 국가들은 세계에서 대기 질이 가장 나쁜 도시로 손꼽힌다.


베트남의 경우 2020 2 달동안 하루만 대기 오염으로부터 자유로웠다. 주요원인으로는 자동차와 공장의 급증인것으로 나타났다. 자동차의 수는 평균 8% 증가하고 있으며 공업단지의 면적도 10 사이 배나 늘었다고 한다. 대기오염을 줄이기 위해 베트남 정부는 국가 예산의 1% 환경보호에 활용하고 2030년까지 하노이 오토바이 금지 법안을 추진할 계획이며 시민 운동도 확산되고 있다.


태국 또한 대기오염으로 인해 3 동안 휴교와 공사 중단을 하는 심각한 상황에 빠져있다. 자동차 배기가스와 공장에서 나오는 오염물질이 원인이다. 태국 정부는 이미 대형마트에서 일회용 비닐봉투 상용화를 금지했으며 미세먼지와 싸우기 위해 드론과 공군 비행기를 사용하는 파격적인 방법을 시행 중이다. 정부와 시민 모두 대기 오염을 관찰하고 통제하기 위한 새로운 정책과 단체들을 설립하면서 열심히 노력 중이다.


이에 반해 대기오염의 다른 피해자인 인도네시아는 특별한 대응정책이 없는 것으로 보여진다.  2018 365 250일의 공기 질이 해롭다고 평가되었고 몇몇 환경 운동가들이 대통령과 국회의원들을 고소하기도 했지만 경제 발전이 환경 보호보다 우선시 되고 있으며 일부 시민들은 인간의 활동이 기후 변화를 일으킨다는 것을 부정하기도 한다.


대기 오염을 완화하기 위해 동남아시아 국가들은 인프라 구축부터 교육 프로그램 창출에 이르기까지 수많은 자원이 필요할 것이다. 하지만 예산과 전문성이 부족으로 대응에 어려움이 있는 것이 사실이다. 이와 같은 상황에서 한국이 대기오염으로부터 어려움을 겪고 있는 동남아시아국가들을 녹색 ODA (Green ODA) 통해 지원을 하는 것이 어떨까 하는 생각을 해본다.


같은 하늘 아래 공기는 국경없이 흐른다. 아시아의 아마존이라 불리우는 동남아시아의 대기 오염은 우리의 삶에 영향을 끼칠 밖에 없다. 동남아시아와 함께 녹색 ODA 진행한다면 궁극적으로 우리에게 도움이 되리라 생각한다. 단기적인 경제적 이익은 없을 있지만 장기적으로는 환경적으로, 사회적으로, 그리고 경제적으로 도움이 것이다. 동남아시아 대기 오염의 심각성을 인지하고 녹색 ODA 추진하는 것이 한국을 포함한 우리 지구에서 미세먼지를 사라지게 만들지 않을까 기대한다.


[Source: Phys.Org

 

Southeast Asia’s Unseeable Future

Intern Researcher Suhyeon Kim


The Republic of Korea is suffering from an invasion of fine particles (PM 2.5) all over the country. Sales of air purifier have gone up by 7 times and sales of masks have also increased by 270% compared to last year. However, the encroachment of fine particles in daily life is not only South Korea’s problem according to the AirVisual rankings. Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand often challenge each other for the title of the city with the worst air quality. These countries are at risk as bad air quality causes detrimental health issues and thus harms the environment in various ways. To combat toxic air quality in Southeast Asia, this essay will delineate key aspects of deleterious air quality in the top three Southeast Asian countries with the worst air quality and possible action that Korea may take to overcome this problem together. 


Before all else, air quality refers to the degree to which air is suitable or clean enough for humans, animals or plants to remain healthy (Collins). On the other hand, air pollution means the release of various gases or fined divided solids that exceed the natural capacity of the environment to dissipate and dilute or absorb them (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Popular air pollutants include Nitrogen Dioxide, PM 2.5 (Fine particulates), Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide and more. In a nutshell, air quality decreases as air pollutants surge and vice versa. Therefore, tackling air pollution leads to better air quality. 


In the case of Vietnam, Hanoi, the capital city, was ranked second in the PM 2.5 concentration level in 2018. In February 2020, only one day was assessed appropriate while the other 28 days were measured as inhospitable, as shown in Figure 1.1. On the contrary, Figure 1.2 showing air quality in 2017, highlights the disparity between the number of days with appropriate air quality and the number of days with inappropriate air quality.   


[Figure 1.1 Air Quality Index in 2020 by Days of the Month, Hanoi]  


[Figure 1.2 Air Quality Index in 2017 by Days of the Month, Hanoi]


This deterioration in air quality is mainly due to the upsurge of automobiles and factories. According to the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam, the number of automobiles grows by an average of 8% annually and registered motorcycles come close to 58 million. Furthermore, the Ministry of Planning and Investment announced that area of industrial complex has tripled during 10 years. Measures to combat air pollution include utilising more than 1% of the national budget in environmental protection and ban on motorcycles by 2030. Civil movements are expanding in order to both assist and fight against the government in combating air pollution.


Likewise, Thailand also suffers from poor air quality, even undergoing school shutdowns and suspension of construction for three days. Automobile emissions and pollutants from factories are the main contributors to such air quality. The Thai government has already banned single-use plastic bags at major stores and have utilised unconventional methods to battle against PM 2.5. Drones and Air Force are employed to wash down the air pollutants, as artificial rain. Both the government and the citizens are working hard to ameliorate the situation, establishing new policies and NGOs to observe and control air pollution. 


On the other hand, Indonesia, who also experience harsh air quality, does not involve herself much in the war against air pollution. In 2018, 250 days among 365 days were evaluated as ‘damaging’ air quality. Few environmentalists have even sued the government officials for incompetency and indifference to the environment. Transportation, slash and burn farming, and wild bushfire are main factors to bad air quality. However, some citizens who are actually responsible for air pollution deny climate change and its link to human activities. Although this should be correctly addressed by the government, economic development is prioritised and henceforth ignored.


Based on these key characteristics, Southeast Asian countries will need myriads of groundwork, from constructing hard infrastructure to creating educational programmes. As developing countries, Southeast Asian countries will not have the budget and expertise to do so on their own. In this light, I would like to propose a possible solution. I would like for Korea to collaborate with Southeast Asian countries to improve air quality in the form of Green ODA. Contrary to traditional ODA, Green ODA refers to assistance that facilitates adaptation and mitigation to climate change and thus promotes sustainable economic development. Korea is the first country to establish the concept of Green ODA and since then expanding her abilities to the spread of Green ODA across the world. As the air pollution of the Southeast Asian countries worsens, the necessity of the Green ODA has never been more paramount. Korea, in a close relationship with Southeast Asian countries, should enhance her capability to support and operate more Green ODA.


Currently, Korea is conducting two major Green ODA with Indonesia and Peru. For instance, Korea has allocated a total of 13 billion Won to ODA with Peru and among these, 1.4 billion Won is for environmental protection. Projects include promotion of sustainable mining, development of business environment for solar energy, empowerment of Green investment, and energy efficiency policy consultation. ODA projects with Indonesia involve reinforcement to sustainable flood forecast and warning system and technical assistance to maintenance and utilisation of forest resources. These projects highlight the country-specific approach and vast types of assistance that Korea is capable of. As a developed country, Korea should engage in such projects more often and in more countries, especially Southeast Asian countries whom Korea has strong ties with.


Air will flow everywhere regardless of the geography. The poor air quality will eventually stymie economic development or even maintenance of it in this globalised world. To stop the domino effect, actions are needed to be taken and one has to remember that the problem can be solved only through cooperation, not selfishness. Air pollution in Southeast Asia should be tackled together, all recognising the significance of the issue and helping each other. As a part of a world, Korea should also realise the poor air quality in Southeast Asia and assist in the form of Green ODA. Otherwise, the future of Southeast Asia, and the world, may be bleak. 


참고문헌



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