NEWS Release



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 year’s "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 earth’s 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 earth’s 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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