Stakeholders Brainstorm on ‘Ozone Depleting Substances Protocol’

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 held a one-day stakeholders training workshop on the amendment made to the Montreal Protocol.

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.

On October 15, 2016, parties to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer met in Kigali, Rwanda, and made amendments to the protocol referred to as the ‘Kigali Amendment’ to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The Montreal Protocol has put the ozone layer on the road to recovery by phasing out ozone-depleting substances and in the process mitigate climate change.

In a brief statement at the start of the training in Monrovia, EPA Chief Technical Advisor, Levi Z. Piah, lauded GIZ for providing funding for the training, which according to him, is important to the health and safety of Liberians and for the good of the environment.

Mr. Piah said technicians in Liberia have already started discussing the implementation of the protocol with mixed views, noting that some are suggesting that HFCs be barred, while others are suggesting that high tariff is placed on the importation into the country of substances that deplete the ozone layers.

According to him, some of the suggestions being made by technicians would come up during the training and asked the gathering comprising representatives of line government entities, vocational schools and professional associations to consider the safety of the population and the environment.

“Those of us who understand what the effects and dangers chemicals would have on the environment and the health of Liberians need to act now,” he told the opening of the workshop.

Mr. Piah indicated that the importation of cheap electronic products like mobile phones in the country, which chemical composition remains unknown is unhealthy; noting “what is cheap may also be expensive.”

Also speaking, Katharina Arndt of GIZ expressed gratitude to the participants and authorities of EPA’s Ozone Unit for organizing the training.
She assured that the HCFH Phase –out management plan for Liberia, implemented by GIZ under the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, supports the country in meeting its requirement to phase out ozone-damaging fluorinated gases in the cooling sector.

Madam Arndt said the two-day forum is intended to enable the cooling sector, it’s industry and training institutions, opening up space for questions, clear doubts and discuss the way forward as the Kigali Amendment and the planned HFC phase-down have further implications for the cooling sector.

Furthermore, she disclosed that they want to find out in which ways it is possible for us to support your cause and therefore, ensure proper enforcement.
Madam Arndt said, “in the context of regulating ozone-depleting substances, we believe it is of great significance to highlight the importance of the refrigeration and air conditioning sector when it comes to not only ozone layer protection but also mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficient use of cooling technology.”

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