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EPA observes National Ozone Day

The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, has joined member countries of the United Nations Convention in observing national ozone day here. The EPA says on December 19, 1994, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed September 16 each year as international day for the preservation of the ozone layer, which marks the date on which the Montreal Protocol on substance that depletes the ozone layer was signed. In Liberia, the day was first celebrated on September 16, 1995.

The Vienna Convention started in September 1987 as an effort to negotiate binding obligations to reduce the ODS usage that led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on substance that depletes the ozone layer. The protocol also introduces control measure for production and consumption of ODS in developed and developing countries.

The program was held Wednesday, September 16, under the auspices of the EPA in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Program or UNEP, in the conference room of the YMCA on Crown Hill, Broad Street in Monrovia.

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It brought together officials of government from line ministries and agencies, students, and other stakeholders. According to the EPA, Liberia became signatory to the Vienna Convention and its outgrowth, the Montreal protocol, on January 1, 1996 and has also ratified the London, Copenhagen, and Montreal Amendments.

Speaking on behalf of Executive Director Madam AnyaaVohiri, EPA focal point for Biosafety,. Johansen Voker, explained that since Liberia became signatory to the party, she has consistently with other member states remained in compliance with all obligations pertaining to the treaty.

He said there were several multilateral agreements of the United Nations that address protection of the ozone layer- the naturally occurring filter that protects the country from harmful Ultra Violet Radiation that reaches the earth.

“Studies show that the Ultra-Violet Radiation causes skin cancers; it also causes eye cataracts, a clouding of the eyes lens, because all sunlight contains some UVB, even with normal stratospheric ozone level, which the sun outputs does not change, rather, less ozone means protection”, Mr. Voker explained.

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The EPA executive warns, “Time is running out in our quest to help save the planet; let’sact now, and only by doing so that our generations to come will breath clean air; live under moderate temperature, stop the continue sea level rise and minimize our vulnerability.”

According to him, the socio-ecosystem makes the country particularly vulnerable to the impacts and effects of ozone depleting substances.

By Lewis S. Teh – Edited by Jonathan Browne

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