Government in bid to end movement of Ozone depleting substances

By Anyway Yotamu
HARARE – Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (World Ozone Day) despite an apparently slow-paced approach towards phasing out of ozone-depleting substances.
However government says it has tightened security over smuggling of Ozone Depleting Substances in a move to tackle ozone layer depletion and climate change.
Ozone depleting substances include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, hydrobromofluorocarbons, chlorobromomethane, and methyl chloroform.
It traps outgoing radiation thereby contributing significantly to global warming and climate change.

Environment Minister Honourable. Mangaliso Nqobizitha Ndhlovu addressing a press conference in Harare today.
Speaking at a press conference in Harare today to commemorate the Ozone Layer Day, Minister of Environment, Climate ,Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mangaliso Ndhlovu said illegal trade in phased out and controlled substances has increased across the globe and Zimbabwe is no exception.
“My Ministry is working with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to train Customs Officers and equip them with tools and skills to combat illegal ODS trade in banned ODS and contaminated refrigerants across the borders. A total of sixteen refrigerant identifiers were distributed to all major ports of entry to help in the detection of mislabeled or contaminated refrigerants,” he said.
Ndhlovu added that training equipment for customs officers has recently been imported and this will equip them with skills to combat illegal trade in controlled substances.
Through the global efforts under the Montreal Protocol, most of the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) have been phased out. The “ozone hole” in the stratosphere is healing, in turn protecting human health, economies and the ecosystems.
Minister Ndhlovu added that the government is embarking on the Second Stage Hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP).
“The Second Stage HPMP will enable the country to eliminate the use of HCFCs by the 1st January 2030 and this will result in more climate benefits as these substances have high Global Warming Potentials. The Stage II HPMP will be implemented in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),” he said.
The day was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 in a bid to encourage all nations across the globe to reflect and take action against the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer.
Loosely defined, the ozone layer is a fragile earth’s coating which acts as shield to protect life on this planet from dangerous Ultra-Violet radiation from the sun and is vulnerable to carbon-emitting substances chief among them the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural).
While its depletion can cause eye cataracts, skin cancers and suppress the immune system in human beings, it induces droughts, floods and tropical cyclones that manifest through climate change, an immediate creation of ozone exhaustion.
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