UNDP receives award for exceptional contribution to protecting Earth’s ozone layer

10 Dec 2012

New York -- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has today been recognized for its two decades of support to developing countries to phase out the use of harmful substances which deplete the ozone layer.

The Executive Secretary of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, Marco Gonzalez, has presented a special award to UNDP Administrator Helen Clark in New York, accompanied by the Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, Maria Nolan.

The award recognizes UNDP’s exceptional contribution to the success of the Montreal Protocol which this year marks its 25th anniversary.

Since setting up a dedicated Montreal Protocol Unit 1991, UNDP has been supporting developing countries to implement their commitments under the Montreal Protocol, alongside other multilateral organizations, such as the UN Environment Programme, the UN Industrial Development Organization and the World Bank.

By October 2012, UNDP had assisted 118 countries to avoid over 4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions on a cumulative basis, and to eliminate more than 68,500 tonnes of ozone-depleting substances.

During the ceremony, Mr Gonzales stressed UNDP’s important role in assisting developing countries by building the capacity of government officials and supporting technology conversions to more ozone and climate-friendly technologies.

Accepting the award, Helen Clark said the 2011 Human Development Report cited the Montreal Protocol as a prime example of integration of environmental and equity concerns while promoting human development.

“UNDP is privileged to have contributed to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol by supporting the efforts of developing countries. We will continue our co-operation with all partners on protecting the ozone layer and the climate,” Helen Clark said.

UNDP has also assisted developing countries to access US$671 million in funding from the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund as well as US$33.5 million from the Global Environment Facility to eliminate ozone depleting chemicals.

Ms Nolan praised UNDP and its Montreal Protocol Unit for their vital role in setting international policy and stressed that UNDP’s guidance in multiple countries was critical to achieving the protocol’s goals.

Miss Clark also thanked Mr Gonzalez and Ms Nolan for their leadership in ensuring the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

A UNDP special publication unveiled during the ceremony takes stock of UNDP activities in support of the Montreal Protocol and captures country stories highlighting the important development linkages of projects which are phasing out ozone-depleting substances.