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The African countries are embarking on the ambitious plan to phase out HCFCs

Victoria, Seychelles, 20 June 2011- In presence of the Health Minister of Seychelles, Dr. Erna Athanasius, the African regional meeting participated by 24 countries was declared open today by Didier Dogley, Principle Secretary, Ministry of Environment. “This is the treaty that never fails to deliver”, said Mr. Dogley referring to the Montreal Protocol that now is considered by many as the most successful environment treaty ever.

The regional networking meeting was being held in this tiny island of Mahe, when the African countries are embarking on the ambitious plan to phase out HCFCs. Through a campaign called “Ozone2Climate” to get maximum climate benefit from HCFC phase out, African countries have resolved to continue their commitment towards the Ozone Layer Protection. Having phased out nearly 25000 tones of CFCs and other important Ozone Depleting Chemicals ahead of the time stipulated in the Montreal Protocol, and having erased the annual carbon footprints of more than 60 million tones of equivalent of carbon dioxide, continent of Africa is now beginning a new journey. “Collective action by African countries to address the ozone layer depletion when they have contributed the least in causing that problem is iconic” said Rajendra Shende, Head of UNEP’s OzonAction Programme engaged in providing the technology support and capacity building to all 146 developing countries in the world.

“While we recognize the exemplary achievement of the Montreal Protocol, we remain deeply concerned by the absence of the same sense of urgency to address the climate change” said Mr. Willis Agricole, Director General and climate negotiator of Seychelles who has just returned from the Climate meeting of UNFCCC in Bonn. The participants, that included representatives of France, Germany, Ozone Secretariat and United Nations Industrial and Development Organization-UNIDO, noted that nearly US $ 175  million provided by the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol to the African countries for about 1200 projects represented less than 10% of the funds received by all the developing countries, the significant message that African countries have given to the world community goes much beyond that value.

The four-day meeting would consider, among others, the planning for the final phase of the Montreal Protocol, opportunities for enhancing the South-South cooperation and technology options for avoiding the use of HFCs which have high Global Warming Potential while replacing HCFCs and enhance the energy efficiency for the air conditioning systems. Year 2011 is 20th Anniversary of the OzonAction. Participants recalled the unique contribution made by the OzonAction of UNEP that enabled the African countries to meet their compliance. The resounding message on the opening day was: while OzonAction of UNEP with other Implementing Agencies played the catalytic role, the real hard work and dedication came from the National Ozone Units of the African countries.

 
For further information
:
Jérémy Boubié Bazyé  
Senior Regional Coordinator
UNEP Regional Office of Africa
Room X231
PO Box 30552
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 7624281  
Fax: +254 20 7623165  
Email: Jeremy.Bazye@unep.org  

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