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NEA holds seminar

Jun 12, 2012, 12:39 PM | Article By: Yai Dibba

The Ozone Unit of the National Environment Agency (NEA) recently held a day seminar to launch the hydrochlorofluor plan of carbon phase-out management plan (HPMP) at the Senegambia Beach Hotel.

It would be recalled that in 2010, The Gambia took the lead of the United Nations Programme (UNEP) of phasing-out of substance that depletes the Ozone layer depleting substances  such as ODS of Chloro-Flouor-Carbon CFCs in the content.

In completing the national phasing-out process by the CFC, the country has been awarded with a new project for implementation process to phase-out hydro-chloro- flouor-carbons-HCFCs

Ozone layer is a primary protection the earth has from the harmful Ultra-Violet-B radiation of the reaching of the sun to the earth surface.

This protective layer is important for the survival of human beings, plants and other creature, as it prevents them from diseases such as skin cancers, eyes cataract, and destruction of the immune system.

Furthermore, the depletion of the Ozone layer would result to crop yield reduction, damage forests, reduce and terrestrial ecosystem productivity and thus contributing to the global warning.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the programme officer of the Ozone Unit of the NEA, Momodou Sarr, said it was very important to note that the launching would not have happened without the collective effort of the personalities in their midst with support from the local and international consultants.

According to him, a developed project document for The Gambia was tabled at the 65th executive committee meeting of the Multilateral Fund secretarial in November for approval.

He said the purpose of launching the first phase approval project was to phase-out HCFCs from The Gambia latest 2030.

In his statement, he noted that the Ozone officer of the NEA, with the partnership support from the United Nations Environment programmes, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and other international organizations have made significant strides in the past to gradually climate Ozone Depleting Substances and we are poised to phasing out hydro-chlorofluorocarbon HCFCs, hence the launch of the HPMP.

Mr Sarr further stated that Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons HCFCs like chlorofluorocarbons CFCs do not only deplete the Ozone layer but also contribute immensely to the warming of the planet earth.

He added that refrigerators are mainly used in the air conditioning systems in fish processing factories, in hotel and are replaced by Ozone-friendly gases well before the target date of 2030.

He said warming of the earth  affect not only the present generation but also generation yet unborn.

The Gambia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world susceptible to the adverse effects of global warming like sea level rise, he said.

“As we are gather today ice caps are melting in polar region increasing our vulnerability to flooding torrential rains are also on the increase and forest areas as being commercialised, heat wave on the increase just to name but a few, meaning we need action to reduce the rate at which our environment is degrading. So we need to tackle the problem holistically.” 

For his part, the Regional coordinator of Ozone action for Africa, UNIDO Associate Industries Development officer, Vienna Austria UNEP office in Nairobi, said this season is only one of series of activities towards meeting The Gambia’s international obligation as a signatory to the Montreal protocol on substance that deplete the Ozone layer.

He said The Gambia like other parties has ratified the Montreal Protocol on substance that deplete the Ozone layer and showed firm commitment to reduce in stages and eventually phase out the production and consumption of Ozone Depleting Substance by fixed dates

He said recognizing the vulnerability of human kind and other animal and plant species and ecosystem to ODS, The Gambia with the support from partners, notably NUEP, GTZ and of recent UNIDO has taken giant strides to implement a number of ODS reduction measures.

He said the Government of The Gambia signed the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone layer in May 1990.

He noted: “The Montreal Protocol on substance that depleted the Ozone layer in June 1990 we have ratified the London Amendment to the Montreal Protocol since then. A national technical working group was created in 1998 to the control, monitor and Eliminate Ozone Depleting Substances.

He added that refrigeration entrepreneurs have been provided with services tool kits to do their work better.

According to him, TPM as a phase-out strategy registered significant gains in training over 300 customs officers and other security officers throughout The Gambia and has supplied five entry points with refrigerant tester. The office has also over the year conducted a series of radio print media sensitization.

He finally thanked the Gambia Government, UNEP and UNIDO through their honoured representatives and for their support.