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 7/19/2011

World Environment Day has interesting acronym: WED! I think it is very appropriate. Nature’s spirit and human thoughts are required to wed.  Both of them have accepted the responsibilities of living together in their shared (only) home and in harmony.

Every year one country agrees to host the WED.  The day also has a specific theme each year. This year India, was host country for the first time and the WED theme was : “Forests: Nature at your Service”. The theme certainly was very timely and fitting but the specific coining of the theme left me rather sad. “Nature at your service”? Are not nature and humans at least partners in context of this planetary WEDding?

By ozonAction on 6/27/2011

Aboard a flight from Seychelles to Dubai, I looked down as the plane was descending. The hills of Seychelles’ thick, tall and diverse trees had been replaced by the expanse of the desert. In just four hours of time, I felt that I was celebrating both the green festival of the forest, followed by the deadly dance of the desert!


But both places had one thing in common that was lacking. They badly needed air conditioning for human beings as part of their modern life. Those who do not have air conditioning eagerly aspired for one. In Seychelles, where I was just 24 hours back, it is humid even at the highest point, i.e. 905 meters above the sea level. In Dubai, where I am now, the desert is hot and dry even near the sea.   

By ozonAction on 6/1/2011
Success can create dangerous traps for near term failure - an overly pessimistic or even slightly sadistic view? Well, I would venture that the success to date of the Montreal Protocol may be leading into such a trap.

When I cracked what many consider to be the world’s toughest competitive entrance examination to enter the Indian Institute of Technology, I lost a sense of urgency. During the graduation course that followed I basked in the past glory of my success in the competitive examination and entered a passive state that lacked the element of urgency and  “making it happen’.

The Montreal Protocol community (also fondly called the ‘Ozone Community’) is almost addicted to euphoric statements that the Montreal Protocol is the most successful multilateral environmental agreement in the history. They are right.  The United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Secretary Generals, reports...
By ozonAction on 3/29/2011
I was talking with the vice principal of the school, Mr Sambhu Bastola, who has taught  in Khumjung Secondary School for about 18 years, around the same time I have been working in UNEP on the Montreal Protocol. From the place where we were chatting, I could see a panorama of the Himalayas, part of Sagarmatha National Park in the district of Solukhumbu bordering Nepal and China. We could see Mount Everest standing majestically in front of us with its brother Lhotse.
By ozonAction on 2/18/2011
The unparalleled success of the Montreal Protocol shows that action on climate change is within our grasp” That’s the title of one of the sections in 2010 report of the Millennium Development Goals ( MDG) of the United Nations released in mid 2010. I consider that it is a powerful statement with a high-voltage message which was sent through the network and transmission lines of scores of policy makers from Governments and Industry. It also comes at the time when Climate Change negotiators are waking up from the hibernation after having run yet another marathon, this time on the beach of Cancun.

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