FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
16 IS INTERNATIONAL OZONE DAY
For the fifth consecutive year, September 16 will be observed worldwide
as International Day for the Preservation
of the Ozone Layer. The
United Nations first declared International Ozone Day in 1995, in commemoration
of the date on which countries signed the Montreal Protocol on substances
that deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. This year marks the twelfth (12th) anniversary of
the Montreal Protocol, which mandates countries to phase out Ozone Depleting
Substances (ODS) within a specified time frame.
The Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) as the national focal
point for the Montreal Protocol in Jamaica has organized a number of activities
to mark the event. An exhibition
based on the theme: "Save
Our Sky: Be Ozone Friendly" will be mounted at the Kingston and
St. Andrew Parish Library, Tom Redcam Drive, from September 14-18.
The exhibition will feature entries in this years "Children's
Painting Competition on Protecting the Ozone Layer". On Thursday, September 16,
Mr. Timothy Kasten, Senior Programme Officer, UNEP Regional Office
will distribute prizes to winners of the Painting Competition at the Kingston
& St. Andrew Parish Library at 11:30 a.m.
A newspaper supplement highlighting information on the Montreal
Protocol and Jamaica's Country Programme will also be published in the
Gleaner on the same day.
With assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
Jamaica is currently implementing a Country Programme to phase out Ozone
Depleting Substances (ODS) by 2006, four years ahead of the targeted date
of 2010 for all developing countries.
At the end of 1995, industrialized countries had already phased out about
a million tons of consumed ODS.
Phase out is well advanced in developing countries and projects
are being implemented to phase out more than one third of their ODS consumption
ahead of the targeted phase out date.
The Multilateral Fund set up in 1991 disbursed more than US $500 million
to developing countries for implementation of country programmes and has
an allocation of US$540 million for the period 1997-99.
Ozone Depleting Substances are certain man-made chemicals containing Chlorine
and Bromine, which have a high potential to deplete the Ozone Layer through
chemical interactions in the earths stratosphere.
Examples of ODS include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigerators,
air-conditioning units foam products and aerosol sprays and halons used
in fire extinguishers.
The Ozone Layer which surrounds the earth at a height of about 25km, protects
life on earth by absorbing some of the radiation from the sun thus preventing
harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays from reaching the earths surface.
The increase in UV rays has been linked to increase in some types
of skin cancers, cataracts, lower plant productivity and deterioration
in certain forms of marine life.
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