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(The ozone layer is a layer in Earth's atmosphere containing relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3). Photo: World Meteorological Organization)
Members of the international community have adopted the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to protect the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. In more than 24 years of successful implementation, the Protocol has been gradually strengthened to cover the phase-out of nearly 100 ozone-depleting substances. The latest adjustments were adopted in 2007 to accelerate the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs.
"HCFCs are both ozone-depleting substances and powerful greenhouse gases: the most commonly used HCFC is nearly 2,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in adding to global warming. By agreeing to speed up the phase-out of HCFCs, Parties to the Montreal Protocol increased their already-substantial contributions to protecting the global climate system" said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer on September 16, 2011.
Globally UNDP is assisting developing countries and countries with economies in transition to comply with the HCFC consumption freeze and the 10% reduction targets. As the lead agency in 30 developing countries UNDP is supporting the preparation of their HCFC Phase-Out Management Plans (HPMPs). Combined, these countries represent 77% of the global consumption of HCFCs.
In Jamaica UNDP is supporting the Government in meeting its obligations under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. A new project titled Hydrochlorofluorocarbon Phase Out Management Plan (HPMP), first stage Implementation was launched on June 07, 2012.
The official launch took place at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. The event was very well attended by various public and private sector representatives.
Dr. Margaret Jones Williams, UNDP Programme Advisor, Environment and Energy Unit, speaking at the launch event explained that UNDP has been designated as co-Executing Agency for one component of the HPMP for Jamaica, while the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will be Executing another component. Project implementation will be done by one of our key partners - The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). NEPA is the designated agency responsible for the Montreal Protocol programme in Jamaica, and the National Ozone Unit (NOU) which is a part of NEPA and functions as Jamaica's focal point for the coordination and execution of the Ozone Depleting Substances phase-out projects. Also, significantly, the private sector will be engaged in this project as SEAL Sprayed Solutions will be implementing one component of the project.
The project will assist Jamaica in meeting the Montreal Protocol's HCFC control targets. The first tranche of the implementation project will enable the Country to meet the following reduction targets: 1) By 2013 freeze in importation at 2009 and 2010 average HCFC import levels (baseline consumption); 2) By 2015 10 % reduction of baseline consumption.
Jamaica ratified the Montreal Protocol in 1993, and has ratified subsequent Amendments.
The Montreal Protocol, founded on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, is the only multilateral environmental agreement with universal ratification. Since its signature in 1987, the Montreal Protocol has been very successful in eliminating the majority of its controlled substances by 1 January 2010 and contributed to reversing the damage done to the ozone layer.
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Dr. Margaret Jones Williams, UNDP Programme Advisor, Environment and Energy Unit, remarks on the occasion of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) Phase Out Management Plan (HPMP) Implementation Project Launch (UNDP Component).