Myanmar to fight ozone harm
MYANMAR will work with other countries to reduce usage of ozonedepleting substances, U Khin Maung Yi, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, announced at a ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw marking International Ozone Preservation Day.
A Hydrofluorocarbons Phase-Out Management Plan has been developed, with technical and financial assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said U Khin Maung Yi at the ceremony on September 16. The plan seeks to limit the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) supplements, reduce HCFC use in manufacturing and restrict the importation of new HCFCs, he added.
Changing the regulations relating to HCFC importation licences and adopting importation quotas are among the first steps to be taken in implementing the plan, the permanent secretary said.
Myanmar is already a member of a number of other international agreements regulating the use of ozone-depleting substances, including the 1993 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Under that agreement, a number of targets have been set to cease the manufacture and use of HCFCs by 2030. The phase-out management plan developed with the help of the UNEP is meant to assist Myanmar in fulfilling its obligations under the agreement.
The government will conduct education campaigns and skillsbuilding workshops for people who use materials that can deplete the ozone layer, such as those involved in refrigeration or air-conditioner servicing.
“We will work together with relevant ministries and the Myanmar Engineering Association to open teacher training courses and other courses to develop skilled people who can systematically handle materials that can damage the ozone layer and related substances in the servicing sector for refrigerators and air-conditioners. Also, we are going to conduct a public education campaign,” U Khin Maung Yi said.
The manufacturing of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has been gradually phased out across the world over the past 15 years because of the detrimental effect that they have on the ozone layer. In 1986, over 1.1 million tonnes of CFCs were manufactured. By 2010, they had been phased out completely.
It is hoped that similar action can be taken to control the manufacture and use of the estimated 5.4 million tonnes of other ozone-depleting chemicals produced annually.
A 2015 study found that HCFCs have a small but measureable ozonedepleting effect, in addition to being a greenhouse gas.
In his address, U Khin Maung Yi encouraged ministries, NGOs, businesses and the general public to join Myanmar’s efforts to phase out the use of ozone-depleting substances for the good of future generations.
– Translation by Emoon