KINGSTON — A sum of $6.9 million has been set aside in the 2011/2012 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, to continue measures to phase-out the use of ozone depleting substances (ODS), and address the illegal trade of such substances.
The initiatives will be carried out under the Montreal Protocol for the Phasing out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) project, which is being funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Government of Jamaica.
The project, which got underway in March 1997, also gathers data on ODS consumption, analysis trends, and reports these to the Multilateral Fund Ozone Secretariat.
The allocation for the fiscal year will go towards the staging of International Ozone Day activities to raise awareness about ODS; dissemination of information on new technologies and ODS substitutes; promoting and coordinating phase-out actions identified in the country programme; monitoring and evaluating the progress of the implementation of phase-out activities; and providing assistance to policy-makers on ozone-related issues.
In addition, there will also be continued contact between the Government of Jamaica and the relevant international organisations, and the exchange of information with other parties to the Montreal Protocol.
Up to December 2010, a number of targets had been achieved, among them, the establishment of the National Ozone Unit; the annual celebration of International Ozone Day; launch of the Caribbean Ozone Song; creation of educational billboards; and the implementation of a poster competition under the theme: ‘Protect the Ozone Layer…Save Life on Earth’.
There was also the continued implementation of ODS phase-out actions identified in the country programme, while reports were submitted to the Ozone Secretariat on ODS consumption and production, exports and cases of illegal trade in ODS. Additionally, posters and calendars were distributed to English-speaking Caribbean countries.
The Montreal Protocol for the Phasing out of Ozone Depleting Substances project was originally slated to end in November, 2010, but has been extended.
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter