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Message from the Head of the OzonAction Branch

Rajendra Shende, Head of OzonActio BranchDear Officers of National Ozone Units,

You are at the heart of our OzonAction Branch. Our activities are designed keeping your work and your needs in the mind. The message that I want to share with you is related to easing your tasks to meet the challenges to safeguard the Ozone Layer and Global Climate System:

  • Knowing the mission and ultimate objective. Ensuring that your country achieves and sustains compliance with the Montreal Protocol is the critical mission of your National Ozone Unit. Phasing out ozone depleting substances is an important part of that work. Safeguarding human health by protecting the Earth's ozone layer is your ultimate objective.
  • Recognising the Finishing line. The effectiveness of your Unit's performance is assessed to a large degree by whether your country achieves compliance with specific Montreal Protocol targets. However, the ultimate measure of performance will be whether that compliance is "permanent and sustained". That is the "finish line" which we are all striving to reach.
  • Mainstreaming through the Bali Strategic Plan.
    Establishing and enforcing effective ozone protection laws and regulations, and mainstreaming them in your national environmental policy, are important means to achieve sustained compliance. The Bali Strategic Plan provides the reference point for linking the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in your country with the national priorities.
  • Learning by sharing : North-South and South-South cooperation. We do not have a guidebook on how to achieve compliance, since the Montreal Protocol is the first agreement under which such collective global action has been taken. So let us learn by sharing lessons from those with experience and get inspired by others' actions.
  • Reaching the Unreached. The world community has made amazing progress in some areas, for example eradicating certain diseases, by grass-roots awareness programmes that employ innovative techniques. Your national programme to implement the Montreal Protocol will also need to reach the "bottom of the pyramid" and involve the "unreached" parts of society.
  • Linking to the Millennium Development Goals. The ozone layer prevents skin cancer and cataracts, but more than that, it contributes to poverty alleviation by protecting the marine food chain and improving plant growth and harvests. Mainstreaming the ozone layer protection activities in your country's poverty alleviation plans will be an important step to get your key Ministries engaged.
  • Thinking outside of the box. When managing your Ozone Unit, think "outside of the box". Consider whether in your country: • your awareness campaign has reached villagers who are planning to buy their first refrigerators. •prosecutors and judges are aware of environmental crime of illegal imports of ODS • industries are aware of technologies that are not only "ozone-friendly" but also "climate-friendly" • managers and engineers are well-versed with Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) as tools to select alternative technologies. • policymakers are aware that the job of protecting the ozone layer is not yet over and that it is closely linked to many other multilateral environmental agreements such as the treaties on climate change and hazardous waste.
  • Remember that you are not alone.

If you need help with any of the above, contact your Regional Network Coordinator or talk to me.

- Head, DTIE OzonAction Branch, rmshende@unep.fr