Capacity-boost for Asia-Pacific governments on ozone and climate protection held in Kathmandu
Kathmandu, 13 October 2011– Today, government representatives from eight countries in Asia-Pacific have come together in this Himalayan capital to commence an intensive three-day capacity building program for new government officers in the Asia and the Pacific Region who are responsible for managing their national programmes to comply with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (“National Ozone Officers” or “NOOs”). This training was organized by the United Nations Environment Programme OzonAction Programme through its CAP team in UNEP’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in cooperation with the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology. This training aims to provide the newly appointed NOOs and the officers who are the second-in-command with key information and techniques for the effective implementation of the Montreal Protocol in their countries.
The Montreal Protocol is a multilateral environmental agreement universally ratified by 196 countries (excluding the newly established state of South Sudan) where governments have committed to reduce and eventually eliminate their production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) following an agreed timetable.
“The national implementation of the Montreal Protocol is closely monitored by the National Ozone Units. These Units and the National Ozone Officers are of paramount importance in sustaining the achievements of the Montreal Protocol and meeting the accelerated phase-out targets for HCFCs,” stated Ms. Megumi Seki, Senior Scientific Affairs Officer, Ozone Secretariat.
In 2007, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to accelerate the phase out of HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), chemicals commonly used in the foam-blowing, refrigeration and air-conditioning, fire-fighting and solvent sectors.
“Through this training, we would like to equip the National Ozone Officers and help them in their transition from HCFC to ozone-friendly and climate-friendly alternative chemicals and technologies,” said Ms. Kakuko Nagatani-Yoshida, UNEP Programme Officer and Lead Trainer. “Of equal importance is to assist them in addressing other Montreal Protocol challenges such as combating illegal trade of ODS, disposal of unwanted ODS and linkages with climate change,” Ms. Yoshida added.
“Ozone Officers carry out the day-to-day work relating to preparation, co-ordination and implementation of government activities to meet commitments under the Montreal Protocol. They need as much knowledge and capacity to perform this huge responsibility,” shared Dr. Sita Ram Joshi, Director General of Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology.
Participants from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Indonesia, Fiji, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste are being trained by experts from the Ozone Secretariat, UNEP, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Nepal’s NOU and the media.
Asia-Pacific NOUs are supported by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. According to Mr. Balaji Natarajan, UNDP Technical Specialist, “Technical and financial assistance from the Multilateral Fund are available for developing countries to assist them in their transition from HCFCs to alternatives.”
“As National Ozone Officers, we want to learn all the policy and technology options to enable us to make the best decisions and select our paths towards ODS phase-out,” said Ms. Rupidah Idris, Ozone Officer of Malaysia undergoing training.
Following the training are two more meetings organized by UNEP: the Joint Network Meeting of South Asia and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ozone Officers from October 17 to 19 in Pokhara and the Workshop on HCFC Phaseout and its Climate and Energy Use Linkages from October 20 to 21 in Kathmandu.
For more information please contact:
Ms. Anne Fenner, Information Manager, UNEP OzonAction Programme, Tel: +33 1 4437 1454; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Atul Bagai, Senior Regional Network Coordinator, OzonAction Programme, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and Pacific. Tel: +6622881662 ; Fax: +6622883041 ; Email: email@example.com
OzonAction Programme: www.unep.org/ozonaction