On Wednesday June 28th, a workshop was launched for the training of customs and other law enforcement officers to better assist with the fight against ozone depleting substances.
The Environmental Coordinating Unit of the Ministry of Health and Environment in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programmes (UNEP) from Wednesday facilitated two days of training to educate border law enforcement officers on the phase-out management plan for ozone depleting substances.
Programme officer of the UNEP and Facilitator of the training, Donnalyn Charles, explained that this training will assist Dominica with implementing its export import licensing system.
“This training is happening globally, not only in Dominica, all countries in the Caribbean region, in Latin America and globally in all of the regions are undertaking this same or similar training programmes.
“It’s going to be able to give you the basic tools information skills set and experience need to assist the ECU with implementing its import, export licensing system so that when ozone depleting substances come into Dominica or equipment that use those substances like refrigerators, AC units, cars, water coolers, anything that can cool or heat….once they come into Dominica you are able to identify them because all of these are controlled under the Montreal protocol and as a party of the Montreal protocol Dominica is mandated to control those and is mandated to phase out the use of those substances,” he explained.
This training falls under laws stipulated within the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a protocol under the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.
The UN’s deadline for accomplishing the goal of phasing out destructive substances is December 2030.
Liaison Officer in Ministry of Health and Environment, Martin Christmas, represented the Hon. Minster for Health and Environment, Dr. Kenneth Darroux.
“It is important to act before we have a new ozone hole scenario as we did in the mid 1980’s; for Dominica, the new phase-out management plan has a deadline which is December 2030. Seems to be a way off but it’s not that much time if we have to phase it out considering the number of refrigerators, freezers and AC units and so forth in the country and the growing number; we have more vehicles…,” he explained.
The training sessions are designed for border and enforcement officers from the customs and excise department as well as partners such as the Marine/Coast Guard, Port authority and the fire and ambulance services.
Facilitators hope that the workshop will help foster a relationship between government officials and the private sector for enforcing requirements for meeting this goal.