Compliance to the Montreal Protocol On Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” Award.
“Team work is key to every success” said Professor Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy at a meeting where he met and personally thanked all stakeholders who has made it possible for Seychelles to receive the “Compliance to the Montreal Protocol On Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” Award.
In 1987 , the world joined hands to save the Ozone Layer, a natural shield protecting us from the sun harmful radiation and 25 years on, the Ozone layer is recovering, the Treaty that save it, is guarding it today, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is regarded as one of the world most successful Environmental Treaty of today.
The ozone hole is regarded as one of this century major Environmental disaster. The Montreal Protocol was widely accepted as the way forward to address and redress this alarming situation.
Immediately after signing, Seychelles set work by putting in place the necessary mechanism to monitor, control and phase-out the use of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) especially refrigerant gases. In 2000, from the Environment Protection Act 1994, the Environment Protection (Ozone) Regulations 2000 came into existence which control import of all Chloro Fluoro Carbons (CFCs) and Hydro Chloro Fluoro Carbons (HCFCs) arriving in the country.
The work of the Ozone Unit in the Ministry of Environment and Energy was made easier with the effective collaboration between different government agencies like custom Department, Licensing Authority, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Import office and different industrial and commercial sector, as well as private business was backed up by a strong political commitment from the government.
By 2007, Seychelles was among the few African countries which has achieved complete phase-out of Zero Consumption of CFCs and was in compliance to the Montreal Protocol before the 2010 deadline. With the newly amended legislation in 2010, “The Environment Protection (Ozone) Regulation 2010, Seychelles is now on the way to phase-out the usage of HCFCs used mainly in air-condition units and chillers by 2020.
In a short meeting on Monday 10th December 2012, Professor Rolph Payet met with the stakeholders from Government and Private sectors to express his appreciation for their collaborative efforts in achieving the award. The Assistant Commissioner from the Custom Division, Mr. Selwyn Knowles assured Minister Payet that all necessary steps will be taken to ensure tight compliance on importation, to prevent harmful substances from getting into the country. Minister Payet says that this award is a significant milestone for Seychelles: a small Island State proving to the rest of the world, that islands can make a difference and are committed to protecting the environment. Seychelles was among the first countries to ratify the provisions of the Montreal Protocol and subsequent amendments. The country has also benefitted tremendously from the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund and also the GTZ.