Myan­mar to fight ozone harm

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­

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

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