Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

Regional Ozone Network for Europe and Central Asia turns 10

The Regional Ozone Network for Europe & Central Asia (ECA network) is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2013 and we are using this opportunity to reflect on the decade of network operation. and to produce this anniversary brochure. to share major achievements, case studies and highlights with countries within and outside the region.The network The network includes 12 developing countries which are spread from Central Asia and Caucasus to the Balkans: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.

The operational languages of the network are English and Russian. Several former network countries have already acceded to the European Union, Croatia being the most recent example. Further candidate countries may join in the future. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan intend to join the Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. Neighboring countries include major trade partners such as China and the European Union, countries with economies in transition (CEIT countries) as well as Afghanistan, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, and the Syrian Arab Republic to the south.

The network countries are doing well in terms of Montreal Protocol implementation. Here are some indicators:

  • All 12 countries are in compliance with the Montreal Protocol phase-out schedules.
  • All have operational import/export licensing systems in place.
  • Nine countries established quota systems to control HCFC imports and to comply with the HCFC freeze in 2013.
  • All countries have ratified all the Montreal Protocol amendments (since 2011).
  • All countries have reported Article 7 & Country Programme implementation data for 2012.
  • All countries already phased-out methyl bromide consumption, well ahead of the ban in 2015.
  • Seven countries have reported HCFC consumption in 2012 below the baseline (freeze in 2013).
  • Ten countries have designated Customs focal points for the Montreal Protocol.
  • Eight countries participate in the informal Prior Informed Consent initiative (iPIC).
  • Nine countries have national refrigeration and air-conditioning associations (and additional two countries are in the process of creating such associations).

The two ozone treaties have been ratified by 197 states and the European Union making them the first universally ratified treaties in United Nations history.
The formation of the Ozone Officers Network for French-Speaking Africa was approved at the 12th Executive Committee Meeting in March 1994 (AFR/SEV/12/TAS/09). To-date this network comprises of 26 members: twenty two French-speaking (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Republic), Democratic Republic of Congo (D. R. C), Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia), three Portuguese speaking African countries (Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome & Principe) and one Spanish speaking (Equatorial Guinea that became party to the Montreal Protocol in 2006).

Besides UNEP and its partner Implementing Agencies (UNIDO, UNDP and the World Bank), this network receives bilateral support from Canada, France and Switzerland.

To efficiently run the French-speaking network and organize network meetings based on the needs of the countries, the Regional Network Coordinator (RNC) based at UNEP Regional Office for Africa in Nairobi, is assisted by Regional Network Coordinator for English- speaking Africa, Regional Network Coordinator of the French- speaking Africa and the Methyl Bromide Officer. The team provides all the CAP services to the region.

More than a decade after its establishment, it is evident that the Ozone Officers in this network have matured to become more capable in coordinating the implementation of country programmes, refrigerant management plans, terminal phase out management plan , HCFCs management plan, institutional strengthening and other key projects.

In December 2011, UNEP, in collaboration with the World Customs Organization, created an e-learning module for Customs officers to assist in fulfilling their role in phasing out ozone depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol. The ODS e-learning modules were made available online at the WCO e-learning platform; available in English, French, Russian and Spanish. A printable completion certificate is provided to successful 'users' at the end of the course.

Graphic: HCFC consumption trends in ECA network countries in 2012

The above graphic provides an analysis of the HCFC consumption reported by the ECA network countries 2011 and 2012. The HCFC consumption of the five countries in the upper half increased in-between 2011 and 2012. The five countries in the right half reported HCFC consumptions in 2012 above their respective baselines but all of but all of them reported that they have HCFC quota systems in place.

Similar efforts are undertaken by the 7 CEIT countries which include: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. These countries follow the more challenging phase-out schedules for developed countries e.g. 75% reduction of HCFC consumption from 2010 and 90% reduction of HCFC consumption from 2015. These countries are eligible for assistance from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with UNDP and UNIDO as implementing agencies. All CEIT countries have operational import/export licensing systems in place to monitor and control trade of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). And most of them participate in the iPIC initiate and have designated Customs focal points as well. Overall, all CEIT countries demonstrate a high commitment to comply with the Montreal Protocol provisions although some countries are facing compliance challenges:

  • Azerbaijan in terms of its HCFC consumption and UNIDO assists the country in implementing a GEF-funded project to phase out its remaining HCFC consumption.
  • Kazakhstan in terms of its HCFC and methyl bromide consumption and UNIDO is currently preparing a project on methyl bromide alternatives in agriculture and in the post-harvest sector and considering the preparation of a HCFC phase-out project to assist the country to return to compliance. Kazakhstan is also preparing the ratification of the Beijing Amendment.
  • Ukraine exceeded its allowable HCFC consumption since 2010 and is currently implementing its HCFC plan of action to return to compliance by 2015.

The priorities of the network will continue to evolve according to the needs of network countries – those for 2014 will include:

  • Implementation of integrated policy measures to promote ozone- and climate-friendly technologies and the adoption of performance and safety standards applicable to the refrigeration & air-conditioning (RAC) sector.
  • Establishment of training and certification schemes for refrigeration technicians and companies. This involves the promotion of e-learning courses as a complement to traditional face-to-face and practical training.
  • Enforcement support related to the iPIC initiative, analysis of differences in reported trade data, the ECA Ozone Protection Award for Customs and Enforcement Officers, and trade monitoring in the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and in future possibly Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
  • Cooperation with the private sector including representatives of industry and national RAC associations, building planners and architects on ozone- and climate-friendly building design and with international stakeholders.
  • Monitoring of Montreal Protocol implementation in terms of compliance, consumption trends, data reporting, operation of import/export licensing and quota system, etc. This includes also the quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) use of methyl bromide, which is increasing in a few countries.

The ECA network has evolved into a multi-stakeholder network involving a wide range and increasing number of national and international stakeholders. All of them have contributed to the ECA region’s compliance with Montreal Protocol targets. The credit and praise of this is widely shared. We congratulate and thank the high-level Government officials and their national ozone teams, Customs and other enforcement officers, refrigeration and air-conditioning experts, building planners and architects, private companies, academia, vocational schools, Non-Governmental Organizations, public schools, media and the general public for the tremendous efforts and contributions.

Our special thanks are extended to all the resource persons from the Ozone Secretariat, the Multilateral Fund Secretariat, the implementing agencies and bilateral partners, our technical and policy experts from inside and outside the Montreal Protocol community as well as cooperating organizations such as IIR, AREA, ASHRAE, REHVA, UNCTAD, UNODC, WCO and EIA. All of them contributed their knowledge and shared their experiences often at their own costs and using their private time. We are also very grateful to UNDP and UNIDO who facilitated the participation of the CEIT countries in relevant activities.

Hundreds of Government officials and experts who participated in ECA network activities continue supporting the network and receiving our news through 7 dissemination lists which contain several hundreds of contacts. Additional outreach to this Montreal Protocol community in the ECA region is done through our website as well articles placed in regional journals or publications of our partner agencies.

Mr. Halvart Koeppen
Regional Network Coordinator (ECA network)
UNEP OzonActon in Paris
Email: halvart.koppen@unep.org
Web: www.unep.org/ozonaction/ecanetwork/

Mr. Mikheil Tushishvili
Programme Officers (ECA network)
UNEP OzonActon in Paris
Email: mikheil.tushishvili@unep.org
Web: www.unep.org/ozonaction/ecanetwork/

ECA network team of UNEP OzonAction in Paris :(from left to right) Ms. Mugure Kibe, Mr. Jim Curlin, Ms. Benedictine Desbois, Ms. Jo Chona, Ms. Jemal Purliyeva, Mr. Halvart Koeppen, Ms. Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Mr. Mikheil Tushishvili, Ms. Barbara Huber