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EPA celebrates World Ozone Day

September 17, 2019

By Yusufu S. Bangura

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EPA director, Professor Jaward and UNIDO’s Mariatu Swarray (center)

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has yesterday (Monday 16th September) celebrated World Ozone Day with the theme “32 Years and Healing”-protect the ozone layer for a healthy planet, at the Civil Service Training College, OAU Drive in Freetown.

Chairperson of the program, Alie Luqullay Jalloh  said they have been working very hard with the public, government agencies, and non-governmental agencies ,to meet their obligations, adding that and the ozone layer has been in existent for 32 years now.

He said the ozone layer guides everyone on what to do and what not to do and that “we celebrated a victory and that victory must be sustained”.

National Ozone Officer, Tamba Emmanuel Nyaka, said they were implementing two and half programmes with regards the Montreal Protocol and the Sierra Leone Hydro chloral carbon Preserve Management Plan (HPMP) which was approved in the 67th Executive committee meeting in November 2011. He said the programme runs from 2012 to 2030.

He said the HPMP was approved to cover HCFC phase out in Sierra Leone from 2011 to 2020 and that it was aimed at promoting environmental friendly refrigerant used practices, thus adding that the project was approved to achieve the 35% reduction in HCFC consumption, costing US$210,000.

He said the national strategy for HCFC reduction was targeting both the manufacturing and servicing sectors, and promoting ozone and climate friendly alternatives.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Representative, Tanzila Watta Sankoh said she was delighted to be part of the celebration, stating that the UNDP will continue to concrete efforts in advocating for the integration of the environment and related topics in the planning and development of the nation.

She said the ozone day was celebrated not only to commemorate the date on which the Montreal Convention was signed, but mainly to create awareness about how fast the ozone layer is getting depleted.

She said the aim was to observe the day as an international occasion to generate a sense of awareness about the ozone layer.

She continued that all scientists agreed that without the ozone layer, life on earth will cease to exist, and the depletion disturbs the equilibrium between man and the environment.

She said the absence of ozone layer would also pose a serious public health hazard, and that concerns were mounting due to the growing list of environmental problems in a country where more people live in dreadful poverty and limited mechanisms to cope with the effects of climate change.

She noted that, there was need for all countries to develop National Cooling Action plans, to deliver efficient and sustainable cooling and bring essential life preserving services like vaccines and safe food to all people.

“We are calling for concrete and enhanced actions, a healthy ozone layer and climate are essential to meeting of the sustainable development goals. The Montreal protocol continues to protect people and planet alike, let this international day for the preservation of the ozone layer be an inspiration towards greater ambition on cooling, at the climate action summit and beyond,” she said.

Country Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Mariatu Swarray said very soon world leaders would gather at the UN headquarters in New York for the climate action summit, which aims to generate a massive step-up in global ambition in addressing the climate emergency.

She said the ozone treaty is the first universally ratified treaty  in the United Nations history and remains an inspirational example of how humanity is capable of cooperating to address a global climate change challenge.

She added that the Montreal Protocol has led to the phase-out of 99% of ozone depleting chemicals in refrigerator, air conditioners and many other products.

Executive Chairman of EPA, Professor Foday Moriba Jaward, thanked everyone for being part of the 32 years celebration and also those that made the Montreal protocol  an  outstanding and exemplary international agreement that has enable the ozone layer to heal itself.

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