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PIA Press Release

September 16 is Int'l day for preservation of ozone layer

Tacloban City (September 16) -- Today, September 16, the whole world celebrates 20 years of progress in the preservation of the ozone layer.

In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed September 16 the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (Ozone Day), commemorating the date, in 1987, when the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed.

On the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol, various activities are being undertaken by regions and countries world-wide to celebrate this event and to further raise awareness on ozone layer protection.

The Montreal Protocol, ratified by 191 parties, is a model international agreement that has achieved a substantial reduction of substances that deplete the ozone layer in the stratosphere, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons being released into the environment.

The Protocol is recognized as one of the most successful international environmental treaties and has resulted in the global phase-out of the production and consumption of over 95 percent of ozone-depleting substances.

Scientists have determined that the rate of decline in ozone has been reduced and ozone levels are no longer declining over mid-latitude areas. Start of a recovery of the ozone layer is anticipated within the next decade.

The thin layer of ozone high in the Earth's atmosphere plays a crucial role in protecting life on the planet's surface from harmful ultraviolet radiation emanating from the sun. In the 1980s, it was discovered that this ozone layer was vulnerable to damage from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other industrial chemicals. Stable, non-toxic and highly versatile, CFCs have been employed for a wide variety of uses, including aerosol propellants, refrigerants and airconditioning fluids, solvents and foam-blowing agents. Halons and other related compounds containing bromine rather than chlorine, have been used as fire extinguishants.

Although the decline of ozone levels has been achieved, concerted efforts still have to be undertaken to allow the ozone layer to fully recover. Thinning off the layer has harmed human health, damaged freshwater and marine ecosystems, reduced crop yields, and affected forests.

This is therefore a call for each and every citizen of the world to do his or her part to stop the use of all ozone depleting substances. (PIA 8) [top]

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