MONTREAL PROTOCOL – GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR GLOBAL BENEFITS15 Sep :International Day for the preservation of the Ozone Layer will be observed tomorrow. The main function is being organized at New Delhi. 43 children winners of Poster Competition, Painting Competition, Quiz on Ozone Science, Skit Competition, Model Making Competition and Slogan Writing Competition will be presented Awards tomorrow.
This competitons were organized for children earlier on 5th September, 2008 to mark this occasion where 469 children participated. Children will also present ozone songs and there view point on Ozone Layer Protection. The chief guest will also administer pledge to protect Ozone Layer. The 10th Edition of the “Montreal Protocol: India’s Success Story”, which contains relevant aspects of India’s commitment to the Protocol will be released on this occasion. Posters and Stickers will also be released to create public awareness on this issue and rope them in efforts to save ozone. Experts will give remarks on strengthening mechanism to phase-out ozone depleting chemicals. Medini Puraskar will be awarded to winners of original Hindi book writing on Environment and related subjects like forests, wildlife and pollution and water resources.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on 16th September, 1987 to protect the Ozone Layer. Since 1995, 16th September is celebrated every year as the International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer and commemorates the date of signing of Montreal Protocol. It provides a message of hope for working cooperatively to solve major environmental problems. The Protocol was the culmination of decades of research, which established that chemicals released in the atmosphere could damage the ozone layer. A depleted Ozone Layer in the stratosphere allows the Ultra Violet rays of the sun to reach the earth exposing mankind, flora and fauna to its harmful effects. According to the World Health Organization each year between 2-3 million skin cancers are detected worldwide and upto 20% of these may be caused or enhanced by sun exposure.
Initially on the basis of very definite empirical findings, the Protocol enjoined upon all the signatory nations to completely phase out harmful chemicals such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Halons, Carbontetrachloride given time schedule. Later, other studies (CTC), Methylchloroform in a have brought more chemicals such as Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and Methyl bromide under the purview of the Protocol for phasing out within a given deadline.
India, being a Party to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol, has been sharing the global concern for protecting the Ozone Layer and to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) like CFC, Halons, CTC, Methyl chloroform, Methyl bromide and HCFC. These substances are used in aerosol products, refrigeration and air-conditioning products, foam blowing applications, fire fighting equipment, metal-cleaning applications, soil fumigation appliances, etc.
Since 1993 with the continuous efforts made by different stakeholders responsible for implementation of activities relating to the Montreal Protocol, 296 conversion projects for phasing out CFC, Halon, CTC, consumption and production were approved by the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund (MLF).
As part of the accelerated phase-out of CFCs, India has completely phased out CFCs as on 1st August, 2008 ahead of the agreed phaseout schedule. However CFCs required for Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI) used by asthma and COPD patients will be available. Further, the most important and critical target of 85% reduction target of CTC production and consumption has also been achieved. Halons have already been phased out since 2003. The 19th Meeting of Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol accelerated the phaseout of HCFCs from 2040 to 2030. A HCFC Phaseout Management Plan (HPMP) is being prepared to meet the schedule for HCFC phase-out.
Government of India has also taken a number of policy measures, both fiscal and regulatory, to encourage early adoption of new technologies by existing and new enterprises. Full exemption from payment of Customs and Excise duties is granted on capital goods required to implement ODS phase out projects funded by the MLF and this benefit is extended for projects and new-establishments using non-ODS technologies. The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 regulating ODS production, consumption and trade have also been put in place. These Rules are being enforced under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 with effect from 19th July, 2000. Five amendments have been made in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007 to the Rules thereafter.
India has been bestowed the honor of receiving the Montreal Protocol Best Implementers Award, which was given on 16th September 2007 at Montreal, Canada to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol.