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The Virtual Tour: From Bangkok to Cancun and beyond
06/ 12/ 2010

The Virtual Tour: From Bangkok to Cancun and beyond6 December 2010, Cancún, (Mexico) - The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the shield that protects all life on Earth from deadly levels of ultra violet rays, is without doubt one of the most successful multilateral environmental agreements and offers solutions to the climate change challenges the planet now faces.

The Virtual Tour from Bangkok to Cancun looks at these solutions, involving "non-CO2" climate gases, which not only protect the ozone layer, but also combat climate change and protect the planet.

The Tour, created by the OzonAction Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is an international campaign to unite people and trigger action with solutions.

Launched in Bangkok, Thailand, on 12 November 2010, where the 22nd Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol took place, the tour has moved through different regions, making stop-offs in Yerevan (Armenia), Beirut (Lebanon) and Kinshasa (DR Congo). Today, the tour arrived in Cancun and into the heart of the UN climate negotiations.

In each of the destinations special events took place to highlight solutions to climate change. Videos of ozone and climate protection were filmed at the stop-overs on the work of local communities. The Virtual Tour also organized events such as a capoeira performance by Iraqi children refugees in Syria, a choir in Beirut to show the role of youth in protecting the environment. In addition, the electronic tour hosts interviews with international experts and scientists and OzonAction's Head, Rajendra Shendre has been writing a daily blog.

The Montreal Protocol was established in 1987 to repair the ozone layer through the phase-down and phase-out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) such as chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) has catalyzed the recovery of the ozone layer which globally is projected to recover by around mid-century if not sooner.

The Protocol has also made a significant contribution to protecting the climate and it is poised to do more during the phase out of hydroflurocarbons (HFCs).

The Tour from Bangkok to Cancun and beyond will encourage the public to learn more about the ozone-climate connections and to explore the possibilities of additional benefits through the phasing-out of HCFCs.

In September, UNEP launched the executive summary of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2010 which provides new information about the effects of climate change on the ozone layer, as well as the impact of ozone changes on the Earth's climate.

The report was written and reviewed by some 300 scientists and launched on the UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. It is the first comprehensive update in four years.


For More Information Please Contact:

Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/Head of Media, Tel. +254 (0) 733 632755, Email nick.nuttall@unep.org

Rajendra Shende, UNEP DTIE OzonAction Branch, Tel: +33 14437 1459, Email: rajendra.shende@unep.org

Further Resources
Virtual Tour from Bangkok to Cancun
UNEP Ozone Secretariat
World Meteorological Organization ozone research