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Caribbean countries move closer to meeting 2015 Montreal Protocol compliance target

Suriname Hosts Successful Meeting of Sub-regional Network of Ozone Officers



Suriname, 11 April 2014
- The Sub-regional Caribbean Network Meeting took place in Paramaribo, Suriname, from 7 – 10 April 2014. The 14 member countries of the Sub-regional Caribbean Network (Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ozone Secretariat, the Multilateral Fund Secretariat and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USEPA) were represented at the meeting.  In addition, experts from the refrigeration sector participated remotely delivering presentations on refrigerants and standards, the European F-gas regulations, certification schemes for servicing technicians, and strengthening of refrigeration associations. The meeting was organized by UNEP OzonAction Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) in collaboration with the Government of Suriname.
 
The meeting focused on building capacities of National Ozone Officers and promoting the exchange of experiences and lessons learnt during the implementation of their hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) phase-out strategies. Countries also reviewed and discussed topics related to national implications of the recent decisions of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol and the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund; progress and challenges on the implementation of HCFC phase-out management plans (HPMPs); legislative and enforcement approaches to meet the Montreal Protocol compliance requirements; and trends in market availability and industry demands for energy efficient, ozone and climate friendly refrigeration and air conditioning alternatives for the Caribbean region.

With regard to compliance with the Montreal Protocol provisions, countries should reduce the consumption of HCFC by 10% by January 1, 2015. To the same extent, it was recognized that 100% of the Caribbean countries reported 2012 consumption data on time; however, it was recommended that countries also submit Quarantine and Pre-shipment (QPS) data as mandated in decision 24/14 of the MOP, even if their consumption was recorded as zero.  Furthermore countries were asked to closely examine the importation and end use of Methyl Bromide (MeBr) for QPS purposes in an effort to avoid any instances of MeBr imports recorded for QPS being subsequently diverted towards other uses.

Bearing in mind that 2014 is the international year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Network members were encouraged to raise awareness among the high-level authorities attending the Third International Small Island Developing States Conference in September 2014, on the challenges and successes of the Montreal Protocol. Likewise, it was strongly recommended for Parties to actively participate in the 34th Open-ended Working Group in order to ensure that the needs of Very Low Volume Countries are articulated and be given due consideration in the final level of funding for the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund.

At the national level, countries expressed concern about the non-availability of suitable energy-efficient and climate-friendly alternatives for some refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) applications in the region.  In order to start addressing some barriers, National Ozone Officers were asked to examine the Eastern Caribbean Energy Labelling Project, or similar projects, to identify synergies and gaps in the creation of standards in the RAC sector. Network members were also advised to promote sustainability of RAC Associations through training, diversification of membership, hosting of conferences, certification, as well as to continue  innovative resource mobilization strategies including, but not limited to, other funding agencies and/or the private sector. Among other issues raised, the countries recognized that the disposal of unwanted Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) remains a major challenge for the sub-region and requires thorough examination towards identifying environmentally sound solutions.

In order to enhance the capacity of countries regarding ODS trade issues, UNEP advised them to join the Informal Prior Informed Consent for ODS control  tool, better known as iPIC, and will provide remote training in management of the said tool to relevant focal points in the region. In turn, countries agreed to convene a meeting of national RAC association representatives and to further discuss the development of standards for the RAC sector using south-south cooperation funds for 2014 with the assistance of UNEP.

For further information please contact:

Marco Pinzon, Regional Network Coordinator for the Caribbean - marco.pinzon@unep.org