Ozone Blog

A blog written by Rajendra Shende, Former Head of the OzonAction Branch, in his personal capacity. This blog does not reflect the policy or position of UNEP or the DTIE OzonAction Branch.
By ozonAction on 2/28/2007
If the present generation has to write the history of the future, such an exercise could be termed as, for want of better words, digging up the past or peering into a crystal ball. I strongly felt such a need when I was in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, just a few days back. Eighty percent of Turkmenistan is desert and nothing grows there. But ideas and concepts, visions and the dreams that grow there are plentiful.

I was in Ashgabat to participate in the 6th Regional Network Meeting of National Ozone Units of 11 countries in the Europe and Central Asia region. The year 2007 being the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol, the Network meeting was launched with much fanfare, with amazing performances by an orchestra of students dressed in traditionally colorful costumes that include the Turkmen cap placed on the top back of the head. As part of the programme, the participants visited the adjacent National Museum of Turkmenistan. One of the objects in the museum that attracted my attention ...
By ozonAction on 2/16/2007
About a week ago, I was in a taxi headed for The Hague train station to catch the Thalys that would take me back to Paris. The overcast sky with intermittent drizzles reminded me of Parisian weather. Just a few hours back, The Hague had experienced its first snow fall of the winter. The taxi driver, from Suriname, talked about 'climate change' and made Dutch monologues, which seemed to signal that he was not sure of what is happening. I had spent most of that day discussing that same subject in a different context with an informal group of experts from around the world called the 'Stockholm Group.' The context of that meeting was , among other things, relation between the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols.

While waiting for my train, I settled in one of those station cafes. To kill time, I opened my laptop and googled 'Montreal Protocol' and got about 1.04 million references. Then I googled the much talked-about 'Kyoto Protocol' and not surprisingly I got about 1.2 million references. Out of inquisitiveness I decided ...
By ozonAction on 2/2/2007
Being aware is to be conscious, to be conversant and to be mindful. Awareness is the state of mind that makes us think. Initially while working on awareness activity programmes in the United Nations, I considered that the tools for making civil society aware of environmental issues are posters, labels, booklets, web sites, guidebooks, workshops and meetings. 12 years back, the former Environment Minister of China, Mr. Xie Zhenhua, and the former Director General of China's State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and I used a different mechanism to create awareness among the citizens of Beijing. This mechanism demonstrated the long term impacts. It clearly illustrated the point that it is not the tools that create the awareness but the way those tools reach out to society and the way the messages are communicated and understood by the recipients ....
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