Experts' profiles - Ludgarde Coppens
Ludgarde Coppens
Ludgarde Coppens joined UNEP's OzonAction Programme in February 2000, initially working as Regional Network Coordinator for the South Asia Network of Ozone Officers. As Policy and Enforcement Officer she provides policy, regulatory and enforcement advise to countries in the Asia Pacific Region on implementation of the Montreal Protocol. Activities include assistance with drafting of ODS regulations and licensing systems, customs training, and the Green Customs Initiative to raise awareness on Multilateral Environmental Agreements and the role of customs in their implementation. This initiative is a regional enforcement network for ozone and customs officers from countries in the Asia Pacific Region aiming to improve cooperation between countries to gain better control over the import-export trade and smuggling of ODS. The work also involves cooperation with international agencies such as the World Customs Organisation and Interpol, as well as with NGOs.

Control of imports and exports of environmental goods is one of the tools used in several Multilateral Environmental Agreements as a measure to protect the environment. Examples include the Montreal Protocol (protection of the ozone layer), which includes a calendar for reduction and elimination of production and import of ozone depleting substances; the Basel Convention dealing with control and reduction of trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes; and the Rotterdam Convention to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among Parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment from potential harm. Effective control of trans-boundary movements of environmental goods requires effective cooperation between stakeholders at the national, regional and international level.

Prior to joining UNEP, Ludgarde worked in the Belgian Ministry of Environment from 1990 till 1999 where she was responsible for Multilateral Environmental Agreements including the Montreal Protocol and the UNFCCC.
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