Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

OzonAction Webinar

“A5 Countries Readiness for Methyl Bromide Phase-out by 1st January 2015: Addressing the Challenges of Sustainability”

Methyl Bromide (MB), a highly efficacious broad-spectrum fumigant, was the method of choice among growers globally. In agriculture, MB is mainly used for soil fumigation for control of soil-borne pests, diseases and weeds of high-value crops, post-harvest fumigation of durable commodities, for structural fumigation and quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) applications. MB use for QPS is not controlled under the Montreal Protocol since it is used for essential services in international trade.

A5 countries have embraced MB phase-out, with most countries reporting zero use ahead of the deadline. However, some A5countries are still facing numerous challenges in the phase-out of MB. These challenges could be tackled collectively via forums such as this webinar. In this webinar, various stakeholders from around the world are enabled to exchange views and experiences towards finding a viable and sustainable alternative to MB usage. The challenges hindering complete MB phase-out in many A5 countries include but not limited to:

  • Inadequate Training and Capacity Building in Adoption of MB Alternatives
  • Issues of efficacy of some of the chemical MB alternatives
  • High cost of some of the alternative technologies and their availability in A5 countries
  • Availability of alternatives for some applications
  • Difficulty in the registration of new chemical alternatives
  • International Ban of certain chemical alternatives
  • Unsuitable infrastructure, especially for Phosphine use
  • Challenges associated with MB alternatives for high moisture fresh dates
  • Problems with experts/expertise and technology to monitor the development of pest resistance
  • Issues of Critical Use Nominations (CUN)
  • Enhancing Tracking systems and institutional coordination for efficient licensing and control of illegal trade
  • Disposal of used/unused MB Cylinders
  • Disposal of alternative by-products materials
  • Continued availability of MB for QPS uses

As the MB phase-out deadline approaches, it is critical to address the prevailing challenges and thus ensure A5 countries readiness for MB Phase-out by 1st Jan 2015. It is important to evaluate existing strategies and tactics, and to implement control measures to enable complete phase-out to happen. It is important to discuss and address the underlining issues via available forum such as this webinar. This way, A5 Countries will be more prepared for MB phase-out by 1st Jan 2015.

Date: Tuesday 7 May 2013
Time: 11:00 Central European Summer Time (Paris +1GMT)


Introduction by Florence Ijeoma Asher, who joined UNEP OzonAction Programme in November 2002 as the Programme Officer for Methyl Bromide Phase-out at the Regional Office for Africa. She has over 18 years of experience working in a wide range of environmental management areas such as ozone layer depletion, chemicals management, climate change, biodiversity, waste water, and potable water treatment. She has experience in the production of polymers and vast chemical products and a wealth of experience in methyl bromide alternatives in the agricultural soil fumigation, post-harvest, structural and quarantine and preshipment sectors. Having been involved in the horticulture/floriculture and post-harvest industries for more than a decade, she has vast experience in both MB-dependent and –independent horticultural/floricultural production and post-harvest handling systems. Prior to joining UNEP, she served in various capacities in both the public and private sectors. Florence has co-authored several books and DVD video documentaries on methyl bromide alternative technologies. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Odessa State Polytechnic University, Odessa, Ukraine.

Dr. Upenyu Mazarura, Methyl bromide expert. Experience in fruit, flower, and vegetable production (General Manager-Claremont Estates, Managing Director-Ecosoft Pvt Ltd) and other crops (Senior Manger-Tobacco Research Board). Currently Chairperson of the Department of Crop Science at the University of Zimbabwe.

Prof. Mohamed Besri, is co chair of the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) and member of the Technology and Economic. Assessment Panel (TEAP). He is consultant for many international organisations and visiting professor to many foreign universities. Has been awarded the medal of National merit by the King Mohamed VI for his contribution to the Moroccan agricultural development. Is Academician, member of the Moroccan Academy of Sciences and technology.

Prof. Mohammed El Hassan Shazali, Ph.D. (Postharvest Entomology), Faculty of Science, University of Reading, U.K.
M.Sc. DIC. (Applied Entomology), Faculty of science, Imperial College, University of London, U.K. B.Sc. Hon.( KRT Agric) Crop Protection, Faculty of Agriculture University of Khartoum Sudan Specialization: Postharvest Grain Storage Systems and Pest Management. Granted scientific fellowship visits, in grain storage pest management, on ways and means to control storage insects particularly Phosphine fumigation and high pressure carbon dioxide treatment in different laboratories in : USA, U.K., Germany, India and Japan etc… Joined the Agricultural Research Corporation in 1967 and retiered in 2006. Currently a freelance consultant, working at Environment, Standards & Quality Control Council, Sudan Ministry of Industry.

Dr. Nicodemus Musembi, Assistant Professor, Istanbul University Faculty of Eng., Mechanical Engineering Dept. Completed his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in mechanical education/engineering. Participated in several courses in UK and USA in the field of teacher training and RAC technology. Has almost 27 years of experience instructing RAC courses at vocational high school/ two-year college and engineering levels. Assigned by the Ministry of Environment Ozone Layer Division as joint committee chair of transposition of F-Gas Regulation.

Dr. Ricardo Labrada, Ph.D. on weeds and agronomy, had a long experience in the field of plant protection, particularly on weed and pesticide management. In the period of 1990-2009 he was the agricultural officer in charge of weeds and other plant protection issues in FAO, Rome. Dr. Labrada is former coordinator of FAO with UNEP on activities and projects related to methyl bromide phase out.

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