The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty that went into force on 16 September 1987. Hailed as one of the most successful international environmental agreements, all countries have now ratified this treaty, which seeks to phase out chemicals that deplete of the ozone layer, which acts as a shield against harmful ultraviolet rays. Ozone depleting substances (ODS) like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halon, are commonly used in refrigerant and air conditioning, fire fighting solvents, and agriculture.
Under the Protocol, Asia Pacific countries agreed to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals like CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride (CTC) by 2010, and methyl chloroform and methyl bromide by 2015. Financial assistance was provided by the Multilateral Fund to phase out these ozone depleting chemicals.
The Ozone Action Program of UNEP works through its regional Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) team in Bangkok to manage three networks of Ozone Officers in the Asia Pacific Region. These networks, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, provide and build capacity of National Ozone Units in the region to meet their compliance obligations under the Montreal Protocol.
The CAP team achieves this through compliance and policy support, the implementation of stand-alone projects or in partnership with other implementing agencies of the Montreal Protocol. Some major accomplishments in recent years have been the development with UNDP of projects in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan on phasing out CFCs in the Medical Aerosols Industry and the first approve hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase out Management Plan in Asia for the Maldives.
The CAP team also provides support to the Multilateral Environmental Agreements – Regional Enforcement Network (MEA – REN) which builds the capacity of national focal points and Customs Officers of all chemical and ozone Conventions to enforce the conventions.
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