Sri Lanka on track to achieve Montreal Protocol targets

16 Sep 2007

New York, September 16, 2007 - 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the international treaty that aims to protect the ozone layer by phasing out consumption and production of ozone depleting substances (ODS) used in a myriad of applications around the world.

Sri Lanka has been identified as one of the countries that are on track to achieve the goals set by the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer. The Sri Lank national team has been identified as one of the best implementers globally, recognizing their contributions to make the protocol’s phase-out goals a reality. In fact, Sri Lanka team at the National Ozone Unit took the challenge to go for an accelerated plan to phase out ozone depleting substances and according to the monitoring plan; Sri Lanka will be able to achieve the set targets within the stipulated time frame.

The Protocol was built through recognition that while ozone depleting substances permeated modern life and played an important role with respect to human development, they also can pose significant risks to both the environment and human health. At the time of its adoption in 1987, the Protocol was at the vanguard as it signaled the global community’s acceptance of the first legally binding international multilateral environmental agreement, heralding a new era of environmental responsibility. It was established through a participatory process that brought government decision-makers, scientists and academics, industry partners and civil society to the table in search of a solution for the protection of a global good. Today, the Montreal Protocol is widely lauded as an example of international cooperation at its best!

Complemented in 1991 by the establishment of its dedicated financial mechanism, the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (MLF), the Protocol has set the standard for cooperative and concerted global environmental partnership. As it prepares to enter its third decade, lessons on how it has achieved its success will be valuable in informing the global environmental community as well as its own future work, encouraging new partnerships and synergies. Indeed, one such important message is that the Montreal Protocol has played a dual role. Certain ozone depleting substances are also greenhouse gases and hence their elimination serves to protect not only our earth’s ozone layer but also the global climate.

We, at UNDP, advocate for the importance of addressing issues related to the protection of the global environment. Integrating sound chemicals management schemes into national development policies and plans forms part of this work. As one of the implementing agencies of the MLF and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP has managed a portfolio worth US$ 500 million to assist more than 100 countries to meet the aims of the Protocol.