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Industrial minister calls for partnership in protecting ozone layer

Industrial minister calls for partnership in protecting ozone layer

Staff Reporter

THE Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu, said the ministry remains committed to preventing the illicit trade in ozone depleting substances, but cannot do this by itself and thus requires the support of stakeholders.

Iipumbu made these remarks during the commemoration of the International Day of Preservation of the Ozone Layer, which was celebrated under the theme “Montreal Protocol@35: Global Cooperation protecting the life on Earth”.

“Namibia is party to the Montreal Protocol of 1987 on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade is playing a coordinating role to ensure that Namibia remains compliant to the Montreal Protocol. One of our obligations is to facilitate training platforms on the handling of alternative technologies, which is the alternative to the substances that are high in global warming and Ozone depletion potential,” she explained.

PICTURED: Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu. Photo: File

She said that the ministry of the Trade’s National Ozone Unit, under the Directorate of Industrial Development, is at the forefront of phasing out Hydrochlorofluorocarbons and will continue to promote environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient products.

Iipumbu added that the country also aims to tackle climate issues caused by Hydrofluorocarbons, which are not necessarily a threat to the ozone layer, but have a high Global Warming potential. This objective is in accordance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, which was ratified in May 2021 and came into effect in August 2022.

However, according to Iipumbu, efforts towards tackling these climate issues cannot be efficient and successful without symbiotic partnerships with the Customs and Exercise Officers and other stakeholders.

“Our Customs and Excise officials are the ones on a daily basis that are at coalface of illicit trade of these toxic chemicals across our borders. In this respect, we need to continuously encourage them, and build their capacity not just on chemicals listed under the Montreal Protocol, but also on other chemicals of priority that need concerted effort by SACU and SADC member states,” she said.

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