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Countries in the Pacific join hands to protect the ozone layer: Palau trains Marshall Islands and Micronesia on the Montreal Protocol

Contributed by the National Ozone Unit, Palau

Palau, 2 December 2012 - New Ozone Officers of the Federated States of Micronesia, Mr. Tilson Kephas, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Ms. Morina Mook and Mr. Iseia Aiseia, received training in Palau from the Environmental Quality Protection Board Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) Officer, Ms. Francesca Sungino, from 26-30 November 2012. The training was made possible through the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) of the UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) under South-South Cooperation.

The five-day training covered major components of a successful operation of ODS programmes such as establishing and enforcing of ODS licensing and quota systems, stakeholders consultation, implementation of the HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP), reports and reporting processes and national approaches and different strategies and good practices used by the Palau National Ozone Unit (NOU) to achieve and maintain a successful ODS Programme. 

The last two days of the training involved field work where the new ozone officers were able to observe how to conduct inspections of different establishments involved in importation and/or use of ODS and on the use and operation of a refrigerant identifier. Ms. Sungino emphasized the importance of good and close working relations with the stakeholders and end-users which will ensure and ease transition and effective phase-out of ODS and also the benefit of establishing a national Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (RAC) technician association to help with the implementation of national ozone regulations and ensuring proper handling and use of ODS.
 
The training also covered an on-line teleconference conducted by Ms. Rowena Elemento of UNEP CAP ROAP. In the teleconference, Ms. Elemento highlighted some very important issues related to the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund, especially on HPMP tranche request, IS renewal process, SSFA for UNEP and MLF project reporting datelines.  The on-line teleconference contributed very much to the new ozone officers having greater understanding on the administrative of MLF projects.  The ozone officers expressed their appreciation to Ms. Elemento for availing her time to contribute to their learning process.

The success of the Montreal Protocol is made possible through cooperation efforts of 197 countries and with the strengthened South-South cooperation; the Pacific Island Countries will succeed in implementation of their Ozone Programmes and achieve compliance with the Montreal Protocol.  The Palau National Ozone Unit wishes the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands a successful implementation of their National Ozone Programme.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Anne Fenner, Information Manager, UNEP OzonAction Programme, Tel: +33 1 4437 1454; Email: anne.fenner@unep.org.

Ms. Artie Dubrie, Regional Network Coordinator, Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP), OzonAction Branch, UNEP– Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Tel No: +66 2 288 2128, Email: dubrie@un.org

Notes to Editors

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987 and entered into force on January 1, 1989. Since then, it has undergone five revisions, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international cooperation "Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date...”

The Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol is managed by an Executive Committee which is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Fund. The Committee comprises seven members from developed and seven members from developing countries. The 2012 Committee membership includes Belgium, Canada, Finland, Japan, Romania, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America (developed countries) and Argentina, China, Cuba, India, Kenya, Jordan and Mali (developing country members) and is chaired by Mr. Xiao Xuezhi (China). The Committee is assisted by the Fund Secretariat which is based in Montreal, Canada.