PRESS RELEASE: Hungarian Air Quality Network to be enhanced with a total budget of HUF 1.6 bn in the framework of the Swiss Contribution
For almost a year, since the spring of 2014, manual measuring devices and laboratory measurement instruments purchased by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2014 from HUF 1.6 bn worth have been operating at environmental protection authorities’ monitoring stations and at many locations of the Hungarian Air Quality Network.
Zsolt V. Németh, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Agricultural Development and Hungaricums, and Jean-François Paroz, Swiss Ambassador to Hungary, have reported the results achieved so far at the Air Quality Reference Laboratory of the Hungarian Meteorological Service (OMSZ).
The event was attended by OMSZ President Kornélia Radics and her colleagues as well as representatives of the Swiss Contribution Office, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Széchenyi Programme Office Limited Liability Company.
The project has a budget of HUF 1.6 bn comprising 85% Swiss funding and 15% co-financing from the central budget within the scope of the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation Programme.
The project has been designed to upgrade the manual air quality monitoring network. The modernisation of instruments and laboratories and the mapping of air pollution and polluted areas are necessary for Hungary to comply with European Union requirements.
As a result of the improvements, 144 manual measuring devices and 31 laboratory measurement instruments were purchased in total during 2014. The equipment was expanded with two mobile environmental monitoring stations in the autumn of 2014. The benefit of the mobile monitoring vans is that they are able to implement monitoring programmes at various locations.
Within the scope of the project, this year will see further improvements whereby Hungary’s only Air Quality Reference Laboratory will undergo upgrading by the addition of high-speed and efficient laboratory equipment. Details of the investment are available at the project website (www.svajcalevegoert.hu
For the implementation of development worth HUF 1.6 bn in total, approximately HUF 1.4 bn will be available as non-refundable grant contributed by Switzerland while Hungary will add HUF 242 m of co-financing. The investment will support the largest improvement of the manual network, which has been operating since 1974, whereby obsolete equipment will be replaced and the range of components subject to monitoring will be extended. Overall, the availability of data and data quality indicators will improve and we will also obtain information about air quality in micro-regions where there are no automated monitoring stations.
In 2006, a referendum in Switzerland decided that CHF 1bn (HUF 210 bn) would be spent on supporting the convergence of countries acceding to the European Union in 2004 in order to reduce social and economic disparities within an enlarged EU. In June 2012, Hungary successfully committed the full amount of the Swiss Contribution, i.e. approximately HUF 31 bn, as a result of which 37 different projects, programmes and block grants are now being implemented. For further information on the Swiss Contribution see http://www.svajcihozzajarulas.hu