Jakarta. Environmental activist group Greenpeace Indonesia launched a mobile application on Tuesday (14/02) that can be used to monitor air quality.
The app, known as UdaraKita, which translates to "our air," allows users to determine air pollution levels in the greater Jakarta area and several other cities in Indonesia.
Despite seemingly low air pollution levels, fine particulate matter of 2.5 microns in diameter and less is known as the small killer and considered extremely dangerous, as it can cause serious respiratory diseases and even lung cancer.
"The air quality data obtained from the application is calculated from the daily average of air quality monitors we have placed in 50 points, including the greater Jakarta area and several other cities in Indonesia," Greenpeace Indonesia climate and energy campaigner Bondan Andriyanu said in a statement.
According to the organization, Jakarta has an alarming air pollution level, which is 4.5 times higher than the threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Greenpeace Indonesia also cited a report by World Energy Outlook, which states that air pollution may have caused 70,000 premature deaths in 2015, and that it could increase to 140,000 by 2040 if the issue is not addressed.
The organization says Indonesia's main source of pollution is fossil fuel emissions from various modes of transportation.
It added that the country lacks proper air quality monitoring systems, especially in big cities such as Jakarta and Bandung, West Java.
Antara news agency previously cited the Research Center for Climate Change at the University of Indonesia as saying that there are only 11 air quality monitors in Jakarta.
Research center head Budi Haryanto said Jakarta still lags far behind other big cities, such as Tokyo and Los Angeles, which have 120 and 160 air quality monitors, respectively.