Bishkek, home to roughly one million people, is among the world’s cities with the worst air pollution.
During winter months, it is often trapped under a dome of smog derived both from its natural environment – the city’s temperature is, on average, 5°C warmer than its surroundings – and smoke from the coal which is still used to heat most homes.
Ms. Kolesnikova’s organization, MoveGreen, was the first to monitor the levels of poisonous fine particles in Bishkek’s air. When the first measurements came back, the team at MoveGreen took their message to a population that was ready to listen: Bishkek’s schoolchildren.
Sensors were installed in schools to measure air quality so that classrooms could keep their windows closed when the air pollution was too much. The success of the school-based campaign encouraged Ms. Kolesnikova to convince decision-makers to improve Bishkek’s air quality.
MoveGreen developed an app, now available globally, which displays real-time data about air quality from the two largest Kyrgyz cities, Bishkek and Osh.
Read more about how MoveGreen and Ms. Kolesnikova are helping to improve air quality in Kyrygystan