SWAKOPMUND: The 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on the International Ozone Day was celebrated here on Saturday under the theme ‘Protecting our atmosphere for generations to come’.
The protocol was signed in 1987, and aims at phasing out both production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances from member countries, of which Namibia is one.
Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, indicated in a speech read on his behalf by his personal advisor, Ellison Hijarunguru, on Saturday that the protocol is a true reflection of what has been done so far to ensure that future generations live in a healthy environment.
“As Namibia is gearing up to become a more industrialised country, the citizens should bear in mind that some technology may pose a threat to the environment if not used in an appropriate way,” he said.
Mutjavikua further said businesses should consider sustainable development and the use of environmentally-friendly products when conducting business in Namibia.
According to the governor, since it has been noted that some ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) have high global warming potential, efforts should be made to reduce the usage of these substances as they have a great impact on the environment.
“Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC’s) are commonly used in Namibia and constitute the largest group of chemicals controlled under the Protocol, which currently represent the largest remaining use of ozone-depleting substances,” Mutjavikua added.
HCFCs which are mainly used in air conditioning units, may operate for a long time, thus the Montreal Protocol has given a grace period for the total phase-out to developed countries by 2030 and developing countries by 2040, to allow smooth transformation from HCFC technology to non-HCFC technology.
Furthermore, the governor mentioned that the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will soon implement the amended Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulation which consists of three parts – banning imports of HCFC-based equipment, controlling imports of spare parts, and restriction of imports of HCFCs.