National Ozone Officers are in the “driver’s seat” of national implementation of the Montreal Protocol. OzonAction assists all 147 developing countries ("Article 5 countries") through its Regional Networks of National Ozone Officers, a highly-successful and cost-effective capacity building mechanism under the Multilateral Fund that promotes the exchange of information, experience and know-how between countries on how to meet Montreal Protocol commitments, report data, set and enforce policies, adopt technologies and effectively manage their national programmes.
Networking comprises annual and thematic meetings, country-to-country cooperation, and regular communication between the OzonAction teams and the Ozone Officers to provide information and assistance to share best practices and resolve any difficulties encountered.
Networks supports national compliance with the Montreal Protocol by:
- Providing a regular forum for efficient exchange of information, ideas and experiences among Ozone Officers
- Encouraging and facilitating the provision of assistance by experienced Ozone Officers to their newly appointed colleagues
- Improving access to available technical, scientific and policy-related information required by Ozone Officers
- Facilitating feedback to the Multilateral Fund Secretariat, Ozone Secretariat and Implementing Agencies on progress made by member countries to comply with the Montreal Protocol, difficulties encountered and the need for further support and assistance
- Providing an important opportunity to inform Ozone Officers of decisions of the Executive Committee and the Meetings of the Parties and assist with their implementation
- Promoting the sharing of information and awareness raising materials developed by Network member countries
- Reviewing progress with implementation of national investment and non-investment projects
- Assisting with collection and verification of data for reporting to the Ozone Secretariat and the Multilateral Fund Secretariat
- Initiating regional and joint activities to promote awareness raising, information exchange and other enabling actions to facilitate compliance.
Networking activities have resulted in improved data reporting, policy making, HCFC phase out management plans and the development of positive peer pressure among Ozone Officers to take early steps to implement the Montreal Protocol.
The Networks are managed by Montreal Protocol Regional Coordinators who are based with their teams in UN Environment's Regional Offices in Bangkok, Manama, Nairobi and Panama City, as well as at UN Environment's office in Paris, France.
OzonAction currently operates ten Regional Networks comprising Ozone Officers from all 147 developing country parties under the Montreal Protocol, 15 bilateral agency partners, and 8 additional participating countries/observers. In addition to the country members, the Multilateral Fund Secretariat, Ozone Secretariat, and Implementing Agencies regularly participate in Network meetings, as well as international experts and resource persons.
The range of subjects currently addressed by the Networks reflect the current needs of the developing country members. Recent topics include, for example:
- Strategies and approaches for meeting and achieving HCFC phase-out commitments
- Implementation of HCFC Phase out Management Plans
- Compliance monitoring
- Data reporting methodologies and best practices
- Policies, legislation, import-export licensing and quota systems
- Refrigeration servicing sector, including refrigeration management, good servicing practices, training and certification, and safety for flammable refrigerants
- Standards and codes
- Customs and enforcement issues, e-licensing systems, iPIC (informal prior informed consent mechanism), border dialogues, risk profiling
- Regional and national awareness activities, communication and outreach
- Preparation for the HFC phase-down including ratification of the Kigali Amendment and initial implementation activities.
Introductory training for new Ozone Officers and their assistants is frequently organized back-to-back with Network meetings to build their capacity about their responsibilities.
The documentation for the Regional Network meetings is available on the OzonAction Meeting Portal.