The United Nations has launched a new smartphone app to raise awareness all over the world on air pollution and climate action, at the United Nation Environment Assembly. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) launched the Maskbook app in partnership with Art of Change 21 to help people create digital masks.
The app gives information on how to protect a community from dangerous air pollutants by using improved cookstoves and discouraging the burning of waste.
After the UNEA-2, Maskbook partnered with UP Nairobi and inhabitants of Nairobi’s Kangemi neighbourhood to run a workshop and create masks.
Helena Molin Valdes, Head of UNEP’s CCAC programme, said that the use of art to raise awareness is a new and participatory way to reach communities with the information on methods of reducing air pollution and how these methods can consequently reduce global warming. She also said that the masks are great artworks but it must be noted that masks are not ultimate solutions to air pollution. The only ultimate solution, according to her, is getting rid of pollution and doing that requires local, national and global efforts.
The Maskbook project will be running exhibitions and workshops in Beijing and Nairobi to raise awareness.