– 14 September 2016:
In the context of activities marking the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2016, a three-day course on carbon dioxide technology was inaugurated yesterday at Université Des Mascareignes, Roche Brunes. The theme for this year ‘Ozone and climate: Restored by a World United’, is supported by the slogan “Working towards reducing global-warming HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.”
The theme acknowledges the collective efforts of the signatory countries to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol towards the restoration of the ozone layer over the past three decades and the global commitment to combat climate change. It is viewed as a rare testimony that mankind has the potential to repair the damage caused to the planet.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms and Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, Mr Alain Wong, recalled that Mauritius, since its adherence to the Montreal Protocol in 1992, has been playing a very active role in the fight against the use of ozone depleting substances. Presently, like other countries, Mauritius is engaged in the phasing-out of Hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) through a 15-year plan namely, the HCFC Phase-Out Management Plan, he added.
Implementation of this plan has been going on since 2011, with the collaboration of a wide array of key stakeholders. The main achievements are as follows: Consumer Protection Regulations have been amended to ban the import of appliances containing HCFCs as from 1st January 2013; training have been provided to technicians, both from private and public sectors, to facilitate the shift from conventional refrigerants to environment friendly refrigerants such as Ammonia and hydrocarbons; and HCFC Blends identifiers have been procured for the Mauritius
Revenue Authority-Customs Department to track import of appliances containing HCFCs. The equipment is also used for the training of Customs officers.
In addition Mauritius is among other countries signatory to the Montreal protocol, currently undertaking a detailed HFC alternative survey in order to understand the overall global picture of HFC use and its future trend, said Mr Wong.
This survey covers stationary and mobile air conditioning as well as domestic, commercial, industrial and transport refrigeration. It also includes hospitals, clinics, hotels, supermarkets, cold rooms, importers and distributors of equipment amongst others. The inventory exercise is a first step for a regional project together with Namibia, Ghana and Kenya under the Climate Technology Center Network to make recommendations for adoption of best available alternatives in the different sub-sectors, among others; develop country-specific roadmaps to promote green cooling; and increase understanding and knowledge of policy makers in the sector to prepare appropriate policy measures.
On the same occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Université des Mascareignes and the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management to ensure a long-term and self-sustained training of technicians on the advantages of carbon dioxide refrigerant over other conventional ones.
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