Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt’s Opening Remarks at Embassy’s AQI Press Tour

AMBASSADOR GALT: Good afternoon.

Thank you everyone for coming.

Welcome to the United States Embassy.

It is my privilege to kick off your tour of our new air quality monitoring station.

It is significant that you begin your visit to the Embassy in the solar-powered American ger – a structure that is itself symbolic of the United States government’s long-term commitment to improving air quality and environmental protection.

I am proud that the United States Embassy in Mongolia has joined like-minded counterparts in the local community to provide scientific data that will help us address the issue of air quality that affects us all.

It is my hope that the data our air quality monitor collects and reports each hour will contribute to our shared fight to reduce air pollution by allowing the public to make informed decisions to reduce health risks, and by spurring further action to mitigate its adverse effects on our health and on the environment.

Data drives decision-making.

Here at the Embassy, we are using air quality measurements to make recommendations to members of our Embassy community to limit outdoor activity and wear protective masks when air pollution levels present a health risk.

Our hourly publication of our data allows members of the public at large to make the same sorts of decisions for themselves and their families.

Access to historical air quality data also advances science by informing the health and scientific communities’ research into connections between air quality and public health.

Our Embassy air quality monitoring equipment that you’ll see today contributes vital data to the extensive network of air quality monitoring stations throughout the city of Ulaanbaatar.

Until now, however, there were no air quality monitors close to our Embassy measuring the fine particulate matter  or PM 2.5, that is especially dangerous to human health.

Given the Embassy’s location in a bowl surrounded by industrial sites and ger districts, we have particularly poor air quality here that makes  our air pollution readings among the highest in the city.

Since air pollution is a problem that knows no borders, we hope that our data will help rally heightened government and public attention to the issue of air quality and encourage discussion and collective action toward creative solutions.

Today, as the first guests to view our air monitoring equipment, you will have the opportunity for an up-close look at our air monitoring equipment and to ask questions about our program.

As the first guests to view our air monitoring equipment, I encourage you to ask questions; my colleagues will do their best to answer them.

After your visit today, I urge you to share with your colleagues, friends, families, and readers what you have learned.

It is only through enhanced public awareness and understanding that we can together develop solutions to the air quality problem that plagues Ulaanbaatar.

Together, we will help return brilliant blue skies to the city in the future.

Thank you.