The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on 16th September, 1987 to protect the Ozone Layer. Since 1995, 16th September is celebrated every year as the International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer and commemorates the date of signing of Montreal Protocol.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol, the landmark international treaty to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol has been hailed as perhaps the most successful international treaty to date and provides a message of hope for working cooperatively to solve major environmental problems.
The Protocol was the culmination of decades of research, which established that chemicals released in the atmosphere could damage the ozone layer.A depleted Ozone Layer in the stratosphere allows the Ultra Violet rays of the sun to reach the earth exposing mankind, flora and fauna to its harmful effects.According to the World Health Organization each year between 2-3 million skin cancers are detected would wide and upto 20% of these may be caused or enhanced by sun exposure.
Initially on the basis of very definite empirical findings, the Protocol enjoined upon all the signatory nations to completely phase out harmful chemicals such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), halons, Carbontetrachloride (CTC), Methylchloroform in a given time schedule. Later, other studies have brought more chemicals such as Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) and Methyl bromide under the purview of the Protocol for phasing out within a given deadline.
India, being a Party to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol, has been sharing the global concern for protecting the Ozone Layer and to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) like CFC, halons, CTC, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide and HCFC. These substances are used in aerosol products, refrigeration and air-conditioning products, foam blowing applications, fire fighting equipment, metal-cleaning applications, soil fumigation appliances, etc.
Since 1993 with the continuous efforts made by different stakeholders responsible for implementation of activities relating to the Montreal Protocol, conversion projects for phasing out CFC, Halon, CTC, consumption and production were approved by the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund (MLF).So far, India has received about Rs. 1000 crores for phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances such as CFC, CTC, Halon and methyl chloroform.
India has achieved 50% reduction target of CFC production from 22558 MT to 11294 MT and consumption from 6681 MT to 1940 MT as on 1.1.2005.Further, the most important and critical target of 85% reduction target of CTC production and consumption has also been achieved by adopting suitable alternative technology for non-feedstock applications of CTC.
Government of India has also taken a number of policy measures, both fiscal and regulatory, to encourage early adoption of new technologies by existing and new enterprises.Full exemption from payment of Customs and Excise duties is granted on capital goods required to implement ODS phase out projects funded by the MLF and this benefit is extended for projects and new-establishments using non-ODS technologies.The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 regulating ODS production, consumption and trade have also been put in place.These Rules are being enforced under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 with effect from 19th July, 2000.Three amendments have been made in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005 to the Rules thereafter.
India has been bestowed the honor of receiving the Montreal Protocol Implementers Award which will be given on 17th September 2007 at Montreal, Canada to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Protocol.
The Thirteenth International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer will be celebrated in Shri Sathya Sai International Centre for Human Values, Pragati Vihar, Lodhi Road, New Delhi on 16th September, 2007.Sh. Siddhartha Behura, Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests will preside over the function.Dr. Vikram Kumar, Director, National Physical Laboratory will deliver the key note address.
A number of competitions were organized for children on 5th September, 2007 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi to mark this occasion.These include : -
- Poster Design Competition
- Painting Competition
- Quiz on Ozone Science
- Skit Competition
- Model Making Competition
- Slogan Writing Competition
Prizes to the winners of these competitions will presented at the function on 16th September 2007. The 9th Edition of the “Montreal Protocol : India’s Success Story”,which contains relevant aspects of India’s commitmentto the Protocol, will also be released on this occasion.