Latin America and The Caribbean
The creation of the Ozone Officers Networks for Mexico and Central America, and for South America was approved at the 12th Executive Committee Meeting in 1994. The Network for the English-Speaking Caribbean countries was approved at the 21st Executive Committee Meeting in 1997. These three networks comprise of 33 members:
Mexico and Central America: Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama.
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.
English-speaking Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
With the establishment in the region of the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) team in 2003, the mandate of the three LAC Networks was modified. They were channeled towards the development of national capacities to meet and sustain compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).
As a consequence of the joint work between the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), other Implementing Agencies and national efforts, the following were achieved for the LAC region from 2003 to March 2007:
- ODS legislation: 21 countries (Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela) were assisted in one or more areas in the establishment, strengthening and enforcement of ODS legislation including import/export licensing systems for ODS and ODS based equipment. Prior to 2003 only 8 countries of the region had the ODS legislation in force.
- Amendments to Montreal Protocol: In the three year period, the following countries accomplished the corresponding processes of Montreal Protocol Amendment ratifications:
- Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico ratified the Montreal Amendment.
- Argentina, Colombia, Grenada, Uruguay and Trinidad & Tobago ratified the Beijing Amendment.
- Bahamas, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica and Paraguay ratified Montreal and Beijing Amendments.
- Dominica ratified Copenhagen, Montreal and Beijing Amendments.
- Suriname ratified London, Copenhagen, Montreal and Beijing Amendments.
A reorientation of the ODS networks was provided. The main adjustments made by the team included the streamlining of the programme administration as well as the shift to providing policy and compliance guidance to countries and cooperation promotion between countries. Thematic meetings and workshops were introduced at the three Networks instead of the traditional Follow up Meetings.
Methyl Bromide and Annex A group 1 Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) uses are the main challenges for the majority of countries of the region. For that reason five workshops on methyl bromide were carried out, two workshops on refrigeration, and a meeting with CFC regional producers. As a cross cutting issue, training on project management and the Montreal Protocol Compliance was given to new Ozone Officers at the Caribbean Network and some countries of Central and South America. Nevertheless, other ODS are now becoming equally important such as CTC and TCA, due to the Montreal Protocol phase out previsions for developing countries.
The thematic meetings approach is adapted to the countries' needs and such meetings count on the participation of the private sector, tertiary educational institutions, and other Government Officers such as Customs Officers in addition to the National Ozone Officers. This broader participation was an innovation introduced for awareness and commitment purposes of main country stakeholders further to the regular Network Meetings.
Taking into account that this last stage in the phase-out schedule is most difficult and challenging for the countries in the region, the main objectives are:
- To continue providing assistance for the countries of the region in their efforts of sustaining ODS phase-out in compliance with the Montreal Protocol, and if necessary, to help them rapidly return to compliance.
- To continue providing support for the establishment, revision, approval and enforcement of ODS control legislation, particularly in Barbados, Guyana, and Haiti. Network meetings are strategic for discussions and exchange of experience on issues among officers of the different countries of the region.
- To support the initiatives on ODS illegal trade control within the region, with the assistance of the Swedish government and Environment Canada, through a new network project addressed to Customs Offices' needs together with the National Ozone Units in an effort to prevent illicit traffic of ODS.
- Taking into consideration the particular challenge of Small Island Developing States, especially with respect to institutional and human resources, the collective network resources are necessary instruments in addressing compliance obligations with the Montreal Protocol