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Capacity building

UNEP, through its OzonAciton Programme under the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, is one of the four Implementing Agencies that provides assistance to developing countries which are a Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MP), also known as Article 5 countries. This assistance is geared to help A-5 countries meet their compliance requirements under the Protocol.

In 2002, through the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP), OzonAction reinvented its approach in delivering services such that the Parties are given quicker access to guidance and information and are given greater ownership of the projects through proactive participation. This was made possible by decentralizing project management from Paris to the Regional Offices in Mexico City (for Latin America and the Caribbean region), Bangkok (for Southeast Asia and the Pacific region), Nairobi (for Africa) and Bahrain (for West Asia region). In 2005, a new regional network has also been established to cover Parties from Eastern Europe and Central Asia and is currently operating from the Paris office.

The Capacity Building Team (CBT) was given the mandate to oversee and monitor the implementation of projects and activities aimed at enabling the Parties to meet its compliance commitments. The team in Paris acts as a central liaising unit with the other Implementing Agencies and the Ozone and Fund Secretariats. Within the CAP team, the Paris office facilitates inter-regional coordination of capacity building activities to ensure consistency in the modality and standard of delivery in all the regions. Information and data from the regions are gathered and consolidated in Paris prior to submission to the Secretariats or dissemination to relevant agencies.

On a regional level, the CAP teams, with their proximity to the countries, are able to respond and provide assistance more quickly to the Parties. The regular interaction with country representatives enables the regional teams to identify the needs and develop regional or national initiatives to facilitate and expedite compliance with the MP measures. Furthermore, the constant flow of information between Paris and the Regional Offices enables the team to keep abreast with developments and the status of progress in all aspects of implementation thereby contributing to and ensuring productivity and efficiency.

Services under Capacity Building

Country Programme (CP) and Refrigerant Management Plan (RMP)

The CP/RMP were developed specifically as a strategy to phase out ODS in Low Volume ODS-Consuming countries (LVC - Article 5 countries with a calculated level of ODS consumption less than 360 ODP tonnes per year), since almost all of the ODS in these countries is used as refrigerants in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector.

A typical RMP would entail a number of activities aimed at assisting the countries reduce their ODS consumption and emissions through various means, namely through the improvement of servicing practices in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector (RAC); the introduction of control mechanisms such as ODS import/export licensing systems, quotas for ODS imports and restrictions to import ODS containing equipment/goods, etc.

Regulations, economic incentives and disincentives, training and awareness-raising activities are also some of the tools used to help achieve these goals.

Country Programme Update (CPU) and Refrigerant Management Plan Update (RMPU)

Upon completion of the Country Programme and the implementation of the projects specified under the RMP, the CAP provides further assistance to the countries by updating their strategies and ODS phase-out plans through CP Updates and RMP Updates. The main purpose being to adequately reflect the evolution of situations in countries by adjusting the ODS phase-out strategies as well as proposing new or additional activities to tackle the remaining ODS consumption.

Terminal Phase-out Management Plan (TPMP)

As the MP enters the final compliance period between 2007-2010, requiring Parties to reduce by 85% and 100% respectively its ODS consumption, the CAP helps the Parties meet this obligation through the formulation and implementation of Terminal Phase-out Management Plans (TPMP). In terms of activities proposed therein, a TPMP is similar to an RMP or an RMPU, except that the TPMP allows for greater flexibility to re-adjust the activities during the implementation period to address - in real-time - the actual situation in the countries. Most of the TPMPs that have been approved contain investment and non-investment activities. The CBT provides policy advice and technical guidance in the formulation and implementation of the non-investment activities.

Institutional Strengthening Project (ISP)

The main purpose of an ISP is to enable a Party to establish the necessary framework within the national government and put up a national focal point to address issues and activities related to the Montreal Protocol. The National Ozone Unit (NOU) facilitates interaction between relevant partners and government bureaus as well as the implementation of activities. The ISP also enables the NOU, the relevant government representative/institution and other stakeholders to obtain and develop the necessary skills and understanding of the different procedures and issues relative to the Montreal Protocol thus expediting and ensuring proper implementation and compliance.

The NOU is also responsible for submitting all the reporting requirements for its ODS phase-out activities, particularly its annual ODS consumption data, to UNEP, the Ozone Secretariat and the Multilateral Fund Secretariat.

National/Regional Training Workshop on Control and Monitoring of ODS (an RMP component)

On a regional level this workshop helps explain how to develop national ODS licensing systems to ozone, customs officers and relevant government officers in the region. These also serve as venues for the countries in the region to exchange experiences and learn from one another on the approach and development of their respective systems as well as the challenges to expect and how to address them. This facilitates countries to develop an action plan, including the drafting and approval of ODS legislation.

On a national level, the ODS legislation/import licensing system should first be signed into law before any customs training can be conducted (as introduced by the Montreal Amendment). Once enacted, the activities can then take place. The workshop shall aim to sensitize customs officers on ozone issues and their country's commitments vis-à-vis the MP. The training also focuses on the implementation of national ODS legislation and the prevention of illegal trade in ODS. The customs officers are provided the necessary skills and equipment (refrigerant gas identifiers) to help them conduct inspections efficiently and follow the required proper procedures when dealing with ODS shipment.

National policy development and drafting of ODS legislation (an RMP component)

This follows the regional workshop on control and monitoring to help ozone officers inform and consult decision-makers and other stakeholders to ensure both their involvement and support for the implementation of the action plan, including drafting and approval of ODS legislation. In some regions, follow-up workshops on enforcement, monitoring and control of ODS are also held within 2 years of the first regional workshops.

National training programmes on good practices in refrigeration (an RMP component)

These are training workshops to raise awareness of refrigeration technicians (both from the formal and informal sectors) on ozone issues and sensitize them on their vital contribution in the fight to protect the ozone layer. Refrigeration technicians receive training on good servicing and containment practices to ensure that leakage of CFCs is avoided during servicing. They are also made aware of the latest technologies and ODS alternatives available in the market to enable a smooth sectoral transition to non-ODS technologies. Good practice training is implemented as early as possible after approval of the RMP.

National codes of good practices (an RMP component)

Ozone officers, in co-operation with the refrigeration association and other stakeholders, develop and adopt a code of good practices in refrigeration servicing.

National Recycling & Recovery programmes (an RMP component)

The goal is to establish a recovery and recycling (R&R) network for CFC refrigerants to reduce the need for virgin refrigerants. R&R programmes are established once licensing systems are operational.

Methyl Bromide (MeBr) Phase out

The 1990 London Amendment to the Montreal Protocol added Methyl Bromide to the list of ODS to be phased out. The challenge is great as there is no single substance that can substitute for all Methyl Bromide applications. However, alternatives have been found for almost 90% of MeBr uses. UNEP has since assisted Parties with enabling activities to draft phase out plans, promote public awareness and increase country ownership of phase out efforts according to the Montreal Protocol phase out schedule.

In 2003 the Global Environment Facility approved funds for a UNEP-UNDP joint project for methyl bromide total sector phase out in 7 countries in Central Europe and Central Asia. This project will be completed in 2007. Farmer Field School training in MeBr soil fumigation alternatives was also implemented by UNEP in cooperation with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for countries in Africa and Latin America. The CBT continues to provide input to other methyl bromide projects submitted to the Executive Committee for funding approval. Among the recent projects are for countries like Fiji and Sierra Leone and bilateral projects with the Spanish Government for Guatemala and Honduras.

Highlights and Achievements

" The Capacity Building team is often called to assist in various initiatives involving the OzonAction Branch. CBT's participation ranges from providing partners with advice or guidance in preparation of proposals, reports, etc. to taking the lead in organising certain activities/projects. It has been directly involved in several global initiatives interlinking Ozone with related issues such as Climate Change, the Bali Strategic Plan, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) for which projects or activities are being developed or are ongoing and have components that address aspects of capacity building and technology transfer as well as other cross cutting issues.

" In 2005, the CBT facilitated the renewal of 36 Institutional Strengthening Projects with a total value amounting to US$2.6 million. In each of the renewal cases, proper policy advice to the NOUs as well as guidance in preparation of required documentation was provided to the respective countries by the CBT team.

" Project proposals and Work Programme Amendment submissions for the 45th, 46th and 47th ExCom meetings were also coordinated by the CBT. A total of 72 projects have been approved during this period amounting to a total of US$12,795,572. Out of these projects US$2,632,426 were approved for 36 Institutional Strengthening Projects including IS renewals, US$185,000 for 7 project preparations, US$318,546 for 11 training activities, US$9,659,600 for 18 technical assistance activities.

" The CBT provided input to UNEP's web-based capacity building database under the Bali Strategic Plan and also coordinated OzonAction input to the Mauritius International Meeting (MIM) on SIDS. A side event on "Lessons Learned in Implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements in SIDS" was organized in consultation with the Governments of Saint Lucia and Mauritius, DEPI and the Secretariat of the Basel Convention. This session shared lessons learned in developing innovative approaches and building capacity of SIDS to negotiate, comply with, implement, and enforce MEAs. The session emphasized approaches to provide financial and technical assistance, regional and South-South collaboration and coordination, simplified reporting, and capacity building. The session also highlighted UNEP initiatives to assist SIDS in implementing MEAs, and the Montreal Protocol was discussed as a successful MEA.

" The CBT, in consultation with other Implementing Agencies and external and internal partners, also developed a proposal to prepare a project on awareness-raising and information dissemination in the chiller sub-sector ("Global Chiller Demonstration Project"). The proposal envisages the setting up of a website for relevant stakeholders that will provide the latest available information from the ongoing projects in the sub-sector implemented by other IAs. The proposal also includes several experience-sharing activities. The proposal was approved for $200,000 at the 48th Excom Meeting.

" The OzonAction Branch, through the CBT, provides assistance and acts as the informal Secretariat for the Green Customs Initiative. The CBT provided assistance in the planning and implementation of the MP components for the pilot training workshops organized in 2005. A special website was launched (www.greencustoms.org) to provide up-to-date information on developments under the initiative as well as information from GCI Partners. A Training Guide covering several MEAs and other international treaties with trade restrictions is also being finalized.

" Finally, the CBT was also involved in the following: conducted the annual bidding exercise for the procurement of training equipment; facilitated the signing of the MOU with the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO), World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the National Academy for Customs Excise and Narcotics (NACEN); the completion of UNEP's manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of MEAs; the completion of Albania's National Phase Out Plan (NPP) in collaboration with UNIDO. It also assisted the Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in its work on the evaluation of customs officers' training implemented by the OzonAction Branch.

Future Objectives

The project proposal to update the Training Manual for Customs Officers was approved at the 48th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund Secretariat in April 2006. The CBT is coordinating this project in close collaboration with the regional CAP officers, customs officers and experts in the field. The update will include the latest developments in the area of international ODS trade (legal and illegal) of which customs officers need to be aware. It is also envisioned to complement the manual with an electronic version and a web portal.

The web-based Capacity Building Centre currently under development will take into account the current capacity building situation and sets as its objective (i) providing an easy reference tool for monitoring and implementation of the capacity building activities, (ii) streamlining and supporting continuous information exchange between the regional activities for implementation and planning, (iii) facilitating cross-fertilization between the regional CAP teams, particularly RMPO/PEOs, and the NOUs/other IAs etc., and (iv) providing a quick mechanism for addressing "burning" issues through adequate technical and policy support.

The CBT, in close collaboration with the CAP officers, (particularly those in ROA,) and external partners, is also contributing to the development of a global methyl bromide project which will include a farmer field school component for Africa. It will also coordinate the implementation of the "Global Technical Assistance Programme in the Chiller Sub-sector"

To ensure completion of the projects, the CBT will coordinate regular review of the status of project implementation and conduct effective follow-up and offer appropriate assistance where necessary.


Mr. Jim Curlin
Capacity Building Manager
UNEP DTIE OzonAction Branch
39-43 quai André Citroën
75739 Paris cedex 15, France
Tel : +33 (0) 1 44 37 14 55
Fax : +33 (0) 1 44 37 14 74
Email : jcurlin@unep.fr

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© UNEP DTIE 2007 | updated 16-jan-09