UNEP's objective is to minimize the impact of harmful substances and hazardous waste on the environment and human beings. The subprogramme builds on more than 30 years of work in the field of harmful chemicals and cooperation with other international organizations where UNEP brings the environmental component regarding risks associated with harmful substances and hazardous waste. The assistance and UNEP’s objective is to minimize the impact of harmful substances and hazardous waste on the environment and human beings. The subprogramme builds on more than 30 years of work in the field of harmful chemicals and cooperation with other international organizations where UNEP brings the environmental component regarding risks associated with harmful substances and hazardous waste. The assistance and technology support will focus on developing countries and countries with economies in transition with special attention on Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States when funding is provided under the Quick Start Programme of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals process. Initiatives related to specific chemicals such as mercury, heavy metals, ozone depleting substances and other chemicals of global concern will also be supported.
Since 1991, the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) OzonAction Programme has been fulfilling UNEP's mandate as an Implementing Agency of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer by strengthening the capacity of governments particularly National Ozone Units (NOUs) and industry in Article 5 countries to elaborate and enforce the policies required to implement the Protocol and make informed decisions about alternative technologies and sustain compliance obligations. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has been successful in meeting its goals in phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs). As a result, the abundance of ODSs in the atmosphere is declining and the ozone layer recovering. UNEP strategically reoriented its approaches and delivery mechanisms in 2002 by creating the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) to help Article 5 countries better cope with demands of the Protocol’s compliance period. Under the CAP, the majority of the staff is located in UNEP’s Regional Offices, where they closely interact with countries on a day-to-day basis to help them achieve and sustain compliance with Montreal Protocol obligations. This regional delivery mechanism is a distinct feature of the OzonAction Programme. The African CAP team is located at the UNEP Regional Office for Africa and serves 54 countries through the network of ozone officers. UNEP also provides a country-specific special compliance services, operates regional networks of ozone officers, facilitates South-South cooperation, assists with regional awareness activities, provides capacity building activities, policy advice, technical services to prepare and implement phase-out strategies and projects, as well as mobilize resources and capacities at key organizations, aiming at achieving and maintaining compliance with Montreal Protocol targets in phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs).
Regional Networks of Ozone Officers
Africa consists of two regional Networks of Ozone Officers- English-speaking Network with 28 countries and French-speaking Network of 26 countries. Regional Networking provides a forum for experience exchange and knowledge transfer between the NOUs of African countries, while adopting innovative approaches and addressing priority thematic areas.
Compliance assistance services
UNEP cooperates closely with the Ozone Secretariat, Multilateral Fund Secretariat, and other Implementing Agency partners to identify countries that have difficulties in maintaining compliance or are at risk of being in noncompliance, with particular reference paid to countries in post-conflict situations. UNEP provides direct assistance to national ozone officers and other priority stakeholders in response to specific needs identified by Article 5 countries. This assistance include policies and enforcement, technical issues, assistance with data reporting, capacity building of new ozone officers, support for ratification, implementation of institutional strengthening projects and other ODS phase-out projects. Country-to-Country (South-South) cooperation. UNEP views direct cooperation between countries as a very cost-effective way to meet technical and policy compliance challenges while at the same time strengthening inter- and intra-regional cooperation. It identifies the needs for such assistance through the regional network meetings and consultations with the ozone officers.
Regional awareness support
UNEP identifies the needs for such assistance through the regional network meetings and consultations with the ozone officers using resources approved by the executive committee as part of the CAP operating budget and work with countries in the region to deliver the agreed products/activities.
UNEP CAP and Multilateral Fund project implementation
UNEP CAP is responsible for delivering the Multilateral Fund projects approved for UNEP. The majority of the projects are institutional strengthening. UNEP ROA provides support as the lead agency in 31 national HCFC Phase out Management Plans (HPMPs) and as the cooperating agency in many countries. UNEP has provided country-specific support activities that primarily assist low-volume consuming countries (LVCs), which lack major investment projects. National activities: the preparation of Country programmes (CPs), Refrigerant Management Plans (RMPs), Terminal Phase out Management Plans (TPMPs), HCFC Phase out Management Plans (HPMPs), methyl bromide phase-out projects and training. UNEP also implements Multilateral Fund projects on behalf of bilateral partners, and performs the project development, monitoring and reporting duties required of all implementing agencies.
Policy support and ratification of Montreal Protocol Amendments
UNEP has assisted all 54 African countries become parties to the protocol and ratified all amendments. UNEP has promoted policy dialogue in various relevant aspects of HCFC phase-out, on the nexus between energy and climate. Countries were also assisted to turn international legal instruments into national policies and laws. UNEP supported all African countries to develop ODS regulation and to join the Informal Prior-Informed Consent (iPIC) that helps to clarify the status of hundreds of intended shipments of ODS since its inception and has been responsible for preventing numerous illegal or unauthorized shipments.
Training of Stakeholders
UNEP has trained a high number of Custom Officers and other law enforcement agencies, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (RAC) technicians and farmers. Customs officers are continuously trained on how to control and implement ODS control measures as provided by the national ODS legislation and the Montreal Protocol. ROA has also assisted countries to review the customs training curricula to include ozone modules for customs training schools. This is viewed as a sustainable approach to the capacity building programme for customs officers. UNEP in cooperation with FAO established Farmer Field Schools in five countries, which emphasizes on learning through experience and dealing with real field problems. CAP also implemented methyl bromide communication programme in eight African countries. The objective of this project was to raise awareness among farmers and methyl bromide users about the methyl bromide phase out, leveraging the NGOs' existing infrastructure in the country.
Conference of Parties to the Bamako Convention
The Bamako Convention is a treaty of African Nations prohibiting the import into Africa of any hazardous (including radioactive) waste. The convention came into force in 1998.