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Floriculture and the Environment - Growing Flowers without Methyl Bromide

February 2002 - Paris -- To support the implementation of alternatives to the ozone depleting substance methyl bromide, the UNEP DTIE OzonAction Programme has recently released a new publication, Floriculture and the Environment - Growing Flowers without Methyl Bromide.

This document is a general guide for carrying out the use of alternatives to methyl bromide in the commercial production of cut flowers. It provides practical and reader-friendly information based on actual experiences in commercial farms, and highlights outcomes of research in this sector. Growers, trainers, technical assistants and any person involved in the methyl bromide phase-out can use this publication as a guide for using these alternatives, or for organising training programmes or workshops.

Methyl bromide is an ozone-depleting substance controlled under the Montreal Protocol that is used as a fumigant in agriculture on such crops as tomatoes and strawberries, for pest control in structures and stored commodities and for quarantine treatments. The bromine from methyl bromide is 60 times more destructive to ozone on an atom-per-atom basis than the chlorine from CFCs. UNEP's Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee has identified alternatives for the vast majority of current uses and many of these are already successfully used around the world.

Recognizing its threat to the ozone layer, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to a global phase-out schedule for methyl bromide in 1997. This schedule requires that industrialized countries phase out methyl bromide by 2005. Developing countries must freeze methyl bromide consumption by 2002, with a 20% reduction in 2005 and a phase out by 2015.

Available in English, French and Spanish, this booklet highlights specific steps and procedures on how to implement IPM, and will encourage the commercial cut flower industry in developing countries on the use of alternatives.

This publication is part of the information exchange services provided by UNEP to developing countries to help them meet their methyl bromide phase-out obligations under the Montreal Protocol. The OzonAction Programme has developed a range of technical and policy publications to support the methyl bromide phase out and the transition to alternatives. UNEP provides other clearinghouse services (Training & Networking of ODS Officers) as well as assistance with the development of national ODS phase out strategies (Country Programmes) and Institutional Strengthening support.

For more information, contact: Rajendra M. Shende, Chief, UNEP TIE Energy and OzonAction Unit, Tour Mirabeau, 39-43 quai Andre Citroen, Paris 75739 cedex 15, France or Tel: (33.1), Fax: (33.1), email:

To ensure that the information is as widely available as possible, the OzonAction Programme is making the guide available on-line at