Heavy reliance on manufactured chemicals, especially refrigerants (chlorofluorocarbons) continue to cause a depletion of the ozone layer and this calls for actions to preserve and protect the planet.
This year's Ozone Day celebration is on the theme; “Montréal Protocol- Keeping us, our food and vaccines cool”. The Montreal Protocol, the first international treaty to regulate the production and use of ozone depleting chemicals has largely been instrumental in facilitating the healing of the ozone layer. The aim of the year-long celebration is to highlight the need to use environmentally friendly cooling chemicals for food and vaccine preservation, especially as the fight against COVID-19 gathers momentum.
The protection of the ozone layer requires action from everyone. Adopting the use of fridges and air-conditioning that are powered by Hydrocarbons (HC 290) and conducting regular inspection and maintenance of appliances to prevent and minimize refrigerant leakages, are some of the actions that can be taken by all to protect the ozone layer.
To mobilize community actions, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) organized community outreach for District Assembly Members across selected districts in Ghana to broaden their understanding of ozone depletion and climate change, the consequences, and the role everyone can play to protect the planet.
Addressing Assembly Members of the New Juabeng North Municipality, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of EPA, Mr. Ebenezer Appah-Sampong underscored the importance of cooperation among stakeholders at all levels to reduce the impact of human activities on the planet. He called on the Assembly Members to work efficiently and effectively to mobilize actions at the local level.
‘’When it comes to the protection of our planet, we must all play our role. If we each do a little, together we can do a lot to protect the ozone layer and unify our world for posterity’’, Appah-Sampong urged.
With the impacts of a warming planet and climate change sweeping across the world, the Municipal Chief Executive of New Juaben North, Hon. Comfort Asante noted that grassroots actions have the potential to change the current course of extreme weather events. Hon. Asante further called for an inclusive action to protect the planet as the impact of climate change is a potent threat to everyone’s survival.
‘’We are already seeing the effects of climate change and global warming on our agricultural activities. Therefore, beyond the World Ozone Day, we must intensify awareness creation in our communities so we can adopt all hands-on-deck approach to the fight’’, she noted.
The Assembly Members at the sensitization expressed their commitment to mobilize actions at their electoral areas to support the ongoing efforts aimed at preserving the ozone layer to protect the planet.
‘’This workshop has been a very insightful one. Prior to the workshop, I did not know that some of our actions at home are causing problems to our environment. So, with the lessons I got from this workshop, I will also go and educate my constituents for them to join me in taking action’’, said Stephen Boakye, Assembly Member for Adumasa-Effiduase.
These sensitization sessions are part of UNDP and EPA’s ongoing efforts to use formal and informal education programmes to create public awareness on ozone layer depletion and ozone depleting substances to help Ghana meets her obligations under the Montreal Protocol.
The sessions were carried out in seven selected districts in the Ashanti, Western, Central and Eastern regions of Ghana.