A November 22, 2012, press release from the Department of Foreign Affairs
The Philippines participated in the 24th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer held at the International Conference Center in Geneva (CICG) on November 12 to 16.
The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of substances which cause ozone depletion, is believed to be the most successful multilateral environmental agreement, having achieved 98 percent of global reduction in the consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS).
The meeting was divided into preparatory and high-level segments, which included presentations of experts, contact group and plenary discussions on various issues of interest to the parties, and approval of 22 decisions.
The MOP decisions covered the following topics: organizational matters, data reporting by Parties, evaluation of the financial mechanism, and issues that affect the compliance status of the Parties.
Of particular interest to the Philippines are the quarantine and preshipment uses of methyl bromide, ODS use in ships, additional information on alternatives to ODS, and the financial mechanism.
In his statement, Undersecretary of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Demetrio L. Ignacio underscored the Philippine approach to phasing out ODS, i.e., a combination of policy and regulatory measures, capacity building, public awareness, and implementation of investment projects by the private sector to gradually phase out the consumption of ODS and shift to ozone-friendly alternative substances, practices, and technologies.
Undersecretary Ignacio also mentioned certain concerns relative to Philippine compliance with the ODS phase out, such as the illegal ODS trade, particularly the proliferation of mislabeled and adulterated ODS; possible diversion of ODS use from the manufacturing to the servicing sector, and undocumented use of ODS in ships and other sectors.
DENR continues to address concerns on unwanted ODS, which remains a big challenge to the country.
The Ozone Secretariat also celebrated the 25th year anniversary (1987-2012) of the Montreal Protocol, during a reception at the Restaurant des Delegues, Palais des Nations, Geneva, on November 12. Participants and delegates joined the celebration.
The Secretariat also recognized some members of the scientific panel for their significant contributions to the progress of the Montreal Protocol.