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SOUTH EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (SEAP)
REGIONAL NETWORK OF OZONE OFFICERS
The SEAP Network is the first network established in 1993 with support from Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida). This support was in addition to Sweden's contribution to the Multilateral Fund. It is based on the experience of the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, which had formed an informal and highly productive network of their NOUs. Member countries of the SEAP Network include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam - and two developed countries, Australia and Sweden. Starting in 2010, the SEAP Network will be supported by the Multilateral Fund under UNEP Compliance Assistance Programme. This will further mainstream the SEAP Network in UNEP CAP along with 9 other regional networks.

The overall objectives of the SEAP Network are to promote early elimination of the use of ozone depleting substances (ODSs) in member countries of the network, including limiting short-term increases, and to help the countries meet their obligations as Parties to the Montreal Protocol.

The project enhances the ability of Ozone Officers to design and implement phase-out policies, strategies, and programmes that are appropriate to the conditions in their countries. It does this by promoting exchange of experiences, and sharing of information and approaches among the Network members, developed country partners, technical experts, Ozone Secretariat, Multilateral Fund Secretariat, Implementing Agencies, and other organizations and individuals experienced with the ODS phase out.

The overall objectives of the SEAP Network are to promote early elimination of the use of ozone depleting substances (ODSs) in member countries of the network, including limiting short-term increases, and to help the countries meet their obligations as Parties to the Montreal Protocol. The project enhances the ability of Ozone Officers to design and implement phase-out policies, strategies, and programmes that are appropriate to the conditions in their countries. It does this by promoting exchange of experiences, and sharing of information and approaches among the Network members, developed country partners, technical experts, Ozone Secretariat, Multilateral Fund Secretariat, Implementing Agencies, and other organizations and individuals experienced with the ODS phase out. The Regional Network Coordinator (RNC) based at UNEP Bangkok, is assisted by a Policy and Enforcement Officer, and a HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Officer. Together, this team of experts oversees and addresses the needs of the SEAP Ozone Officers.

Challenges and Responses

Though SEAP countries' compliance with 100% CFC phase-out starting 1 January 2010 will not be ascertained until data reporting are done in 2011, the countries are confident in successfully achieving the target. Three countries (Fiji, Myanmar and Singapore) have already phased out CFC consumption while the rest have reduced their 2008 consumption beyond the 85 per cent target. Other ODS (halons, CTC and methyl chloroform) have also been drastically reduced or phased out.

However, with two main producers of CFC and major transit ports in the region, there are lingering risks of illicit trade of CFC that could undermine the effort of the countries to effectively implement the Montreal Protocol. The SEAP and South Asia Network, with bilateral support from Sweden to strengthen cooperation between Customs and Ozone officers at the regional and national levels, will continue its effort to monitor and prevent illegal trade of ODS in the region.

Furthermore, there is considerable stock of CFCs remaining in banks of refrigeration equipment that, without proper disposal management, could cause significant depletion of the ozone layer. Since CFCs in equipment are not considered as controlled substance, the disposal of CFCs was not considered a high priority issue for the SEAP countries in the past. However, many SEAP countries are now seriously considering measures to collect and dispose these CFCs. This would have double benefit of preventing further damage to the ozone layer and reducing global warming at the same time since these CFCs have high global warming potential.

Another remaining challenge is on the growing consumption of methyl bromide in Quarantine and Pre-shipment (QPS) applications. While methyl bromide use for QPS is currently exempted, there is a possibility that these uses could be subjected to future control by the Parties. This would also reduce the risk of diversion of QPS import to non-QPS application. The SEAP Network will continue to discuss the needs to improve control and monitor and promote reduction of methyl bromide use in QPS applications.

The biggest challenge for the SEAP countries would be on the advanced phase-out of HCFCs. HCFC consumption among all SEAP countries has significantly increased. Six out of the top 25 developing countries with the highest consumption of HCFCs are from the SEAP Network: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore due to their large base of air-conditioning manufacturers. The SEAP country's HCFC consumption is also larger than peak CFC consumption in the past when compared in metric tons.


Key Achievements and Regional Activities


All the SEAP countries have been proactively phasing out ozone depleting substances. The 2008 CFC consumption of many countries are already below the 85% reduction target. It is expected that all SEAP countries would be able to meet the 2007 target without major difficulties due to strong enforcement of licensing system, projects to convert from ODS to alternatives and activities to reduce its demand in servicing existing equipment.

During the past seventeen years, the Network has strengthened the capabilities and confidence of the Ozone Officers, and thereby accelerated the formulation of policies and regulations in the member countries. The support has promoted a faster ODS phase out by providing a mechanism through which the countries can share ideas, discuss and find solutions to common problems, and replicate each other's best programmes with increased confidence they will succeed.

Major achievements from the SEAP Network include: development and sharing of information sheet on official importers and exporters in each country; voluntary adoption of prior informed consent procedure to control the export of CFCs to countries in the region with Singapore taking a leading example; and sharing of information on ODS trade that led to bilateral cooperation to address discrepancy between importing and exporting countries. Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam had participated in the south-south cooperation on cross-border trade where the Ozone and Customs Officers agreed to share their trade information to improve the control of ODS trade between the countries and to prevent illegal trade.

One of the biggest achievements of the SEAP Network was the trust established between the Ozone Officers through close relationship developed during the network meetings over the past years. This has allowed the Ozone Officers to share sensitive information and help each other to meet the common goals of the Montreal Protocol.

Further Objectives

The SEAP network will focus on the following issues:
  • Continuing measures to monitor CFC trade in order to meet and sustain the 100% phase-out target in 2010 and beyond.
  • Promote reduction of methyl bromide in QPS applications.
  • Review and improve control and monitoring of methyl bromide for QPS and non-QPS import.
  • Continue cooperation between Customs-ODS Officers through extension of Swedish bilateral project and strengthening ODS trade through prior informed consent procedure.
  • Preparing HCFC phase-out management plan and start implementation to meet the initial targets of freezing consumption in 2013 and 10% reduction in 2015.