CHANDIGARH- SEPTEMBER 16, 2008: Today, on 16th September, 2008, Students and Faculty of the Department of Social Work observed the International Ozone Day at Students Centre, Panjab University, Chandigarh. The purpose of this event was to save the sky and mother earth, so that it may not turn black..
The students demonstrated with the help of placards and posters with slogans depicting “The Earth without Ozone layer is like a house without roof”. The student community was sensitized that in order to avoid the artificial umbrellas, we have to save the real Ozone layer, which is the responsibility of all of us. Through slogans, they sensitized the students’ community that the invisible barrier that protects the earth from harmful radiations is our Ozone layer.
Subhalaxmi, a student of first semester MSW in her speech informed that The United Nations declared the 16th of September as the International Day for the Protection of the Ozone Layer to commemorate the 16th of September 1987, the date when the Montreal Protocol was first signed. The Protocol controls the production and the use of Ozone depleting substances, which since the early 1970’s have destroyed about the 5% of the earth’s ozone shield which protects life from the harmful UV rays. The protocol is an example of a successful cooperation between scientists and the industry as well as between developed and the developing countries and provides an excellent paradigm to the International community for the cooperation and complex environment issues of global importance. She also made reference to the theme of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone layer 16th September 2008 i.e.: “MONTREAL PROTOCOL: GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS FOR GLOBAL BENEFITS”.
The ozone layer, a thin scattering of 3-atom oxygen molecules found in the Stratosphere, acts as an efficient filter for solar Ultraviolet B (UV-B) rays. The ozone layer, therefore, is highly beneficial to plant and animal life on earth filtering out the dangerous part of sun’s radiation and allowing only the beneficial part to reach earth. Since the 1950’s ozone depleting substances (ODS) have been used extensively in a wide range of applications. Without the knowledge of potential harm, millions of tonnes of ODS with 100s of years of life span have been released into the atmosphere, resulting in the damage which we experience today and for next few decades to come.
The urgency of controlling the ODS particularly the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was slow to pick up. The CFCs were so useful that society and the industry were reluctant to give up. To fight destruction of the life protecting ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol (MP), an nternational legally binding treaty presently with over 180 signatory countries was conceived in 1987 and put into force in 1989 to control worldwide production and consumption of ODS. The Protocol sets common responsibility on developed and developing countries to phase-out ODS but with different timelines.
We the students and the faculty have to look on the issues like increasing air pollution, deforestation, the loss of biodiversity etc. On this International Day let us pledge to seize more such multifaceted opportunities, and do our utmost to create tomorrow’s green economy today according to Prof. Mohinderjit K. Teja, Dept. of Sociology, P.U.