The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) will commemorate World Ozone Day on September 16 with virtual events, to limit physical interactions, and is encouraging public participation.
“Every year we try our best to go out to schools, do our promotional activities, but because of COVID-19 we have to do everything online. So, for this year, we are doing everything virtually and at the same time we are trying to make it fun,” NEPA’s Community Animator, Alicia Barrett, told JIS News.
“We’ll have a webinar for children on Wednesday (September 16) in the afternoon starting at 2:00 o’clock, called Jamaica and the Ozone. It will be focusing on what Jamaica specifically has been doing since we signed the Montreal Protocol in 1993,” she added.
Ms. Barrett said that prior to the day, the agency will open a poster competition to engage students on the theme of World Ozone Day 2020 – ‘Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection’.
“We plan to put everything together through a poster competition that we have for the children. The poster competition opens on Monday, September 14 and closes on September 30. It is for children aged 10 to 15 years old to put together a graphic, poster or flyer saying what the theme of World Ozone Day means to them,” Ms. Barrett explained.
For competition guidelines, persons can contact NEPA at 876-754-7540 or visit their website at www.nepa.gov.jm.
NEPA will be sharing information about ozone preservation on its social media pages leading up to the day.
A team from NEPA will also participate in a live JIS Studio 58A session at noon on World Ozone Day and persons are being encouraged to tune in to the JIS’s Facebook page, where they will be able to ask questions and have live interaction.
“This aims to engage the public more about what is World Ozone Day; what is Jamaica doing; and why do we celebrate it? I just want everybody to tune in to our Studio 58A live next week Wednesday at 12 o clock (noon). It will be very interesting and it will give much more insight on what persons can do individually and collectively as a nation,” Ms. Barrett said.
Persons are also encouraged to purchase refrigerants for their cooling equipment only from the companies permitted to import them. This is one way to reduce the use of ozone-depleting substances.
“We have about 15 importers who are permitted by the Ministry of Health to import refrigerants. They have a quota that is monitored by the Ministry and NEPA. When you rely on these companies you can get servicing and repairs done for your cooling equipment as well. We are at a stage where we are trying to phase down some harmful substances that are depleting the ozone layer and we are trying to implement [the use of] some new natural substances,” Ms. Barrett said.
World Ozone Day celebrates taking care of the ozone layer, which protects us from the harmful ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun, and allows for all life on Earth. One such way is by reducing the use of ozone-depleting substances, such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons.