Issue No. 35/2020 – Wednesday, 16 September 2020 (Kitiona Tausi)
Yesterday, 16 September saw the celebration of the World Ozone Day 2020 in Tuvalu. It was held at the Rt. Hon. Dr. Sir Tomasi Puapua Convention Center and was attended by government official and some invited guests including the students of the Suesue memorial Pre-school who were invited to perform a few action songs and recitations depicting environment themes.
Before the celebration began, as a customary practice, a word of prayer was offered by Mr. Folaugapati Eka, Principal of the Fetuvay Secondary School. Then, the official speech of the Day was then delivered by Mrs. Palipa Lauti, the Acting CEO in the Ministry of Pubic Works, Infratsructure, Environment, Labor, Meteorology and Disaster.
In his address, Mrs. Lauti said “The World Ozone Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for the Oreservation of the Ozone Layer.
“This year, we celebrate over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol. It reminds us that we must keep up the momentum to ensure heathy people and a healthy planet.”
For Tuvalu , 2020 is the 27th year of prtotecting the Ozone Layer and of the 35th years of the Vienna Convention, which was the first step in fixing the hole in the planet’s ozone layer.
Mrs. Lauti continued by saying, “Under the Montreal Protocol, gvernments, scientists and industry cooperated and have so far replaced 99 percent of these gases. The ozone layer is now healing, safeguarding human and ecosystem health.
“Ozone layer protection efforts also contributed to the fight against climate change by averting an estimated 135 billiion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from 1990 – 2010.”
On this World Ozone Day, it is a Day to celebrate our success and Mrs. Lauti encouraged Tuvalu that we must support the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal protocol which Tuvalu ratified on 21st September 2017. She said, “through the Protocol’s Kigali Amendment, the International Community is finding alternatives for coolants that contribute to the growing menace of climate disruption.
“If fully implemented, the Kigali Amendment can prevent 0.4 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century, while continuing to protect the ozone layer. And by combining to phase-ddown HFCs with energy efficiencey improvements in the cooling industry, we can achieve bigger CLIMATE BENFITS.”
Mrs. Lauti finally encuraged Tuvalu to continue working together to preserve the ozone layer and apply the same will that we have wirnessed in the past to healing te planet and forging a brighter and more equitable future for all humanity.
Before the end of the program, the Director of Environment, Mr. Soseala Saosaoa addressed the attendants briefing them of the imortance of the Ozone Layer project. He said “the project has only one staff, Ms. Moeli Homasi and she looks after 4 projects here in Tuvalu. One project is the attempt to reduce the import of CFC gases and its first stage has been completed and the second stage is on now. The other project is the phasing- down of HFC gases.”
Mr. Saosaoa also reminded importers of these gases to try and secure permits from the Environment Department and those who have secured permits are required to submit their annual reports to the department indicating the gases ordered, the quantity and the quantity sold. These reports should be provided by 30 january each year.
Mr. Soseala also said that the Environment Deoartment is trying its best to ensure that Tuvalu meets its obligations under the Vienna Convention as well as the Montreal Protocol.