A sensitisation workshop on the Kigali Amendment in the context of activities marking the 2017 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer was launched this morning by the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava in presence of other eminent personalities.
In his address, Minister Sinatambou highlighted that Mauritius, since its adherence to the Montreal Protocol in 1992, has been actively engaged in the phasing out of hydro fluorocarbons (HCFCs) with the collaboration of various key stakeholders. Other actions taken comprise: training of Customs Officers in the fight against illegal trade of ozone depleting substances; capacity building for technicians for the safe use and handling of hydrocarbons in air conditioning units; and, installation of a Carbon Dioxide Cascade system at the Université des Mascareignes, he recalled.
The Minister underscored that this workshop provides an ideal platform regarding the various implications of the Kigali Amendment and the process towards its ratification. Mali, Rwanda and Norway are amongst the countries to have already ratified the Kigali Amendment, he pointed out.
He underlined the importance of the ozone layer which acts as a shield to sustain life on earth and prevents harmful ultraviolet radiation emitted by the Sun. Ozone layer depletion allows more ultraviolet rays to reach the Planet and in turn, cause harmful impacts on the environment as well as increase possibilities of eye cataracts and skin-related diseases for human beings, he added.
For his part, the Legal and Compliance Officer Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme, Dr Gilbert Bankobeza, underscored that Mauritius over the years has demonstrated its willingness to safeguard the atmosphere and sustain a resilient environment. It is high time to focus on environmental protection and to consider the technical as well the financial aspects regarding the effective implementation of the Kigali Amendment, he urged.
The theme retained for this year's International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is Caring for all life under the sun. It also marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol and the relentless efforts of different countries for its successful implementation in the phasing out of ozone depleting substances. The Montreal Protocol signifies a global commitment to combat climate change towards the restoration of the ozone layer.
Several activities are being organised to mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2017 in Mauritius. These include a one-day awareness programme on the importance of having Certified Technicians in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector; training of Technicians on hydrocarbon technology; and, a half-day workshop for students of the University of Mauritius.
International Day and the Montreal Protocol
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 16 September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer in 1994. Since then, countries which are Parties to the Montreal Protocol have agreed to get rid of substances threatening the ozone layer.
The Montreal Protocol supports the new mandate to phase down climate-warming HCFCs under the Kigali Amendment which was adopted at the 28th Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali in 2016.