Dear National Ozone Officers,
It is my sincere hope that you, your families and colleagues are all remaining safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted individuals, countries and businesses worldwide. Health guidelines and travel restrictions means that we are celebrating a very different World Ozone Day (WOD) this year on 16 September, with reduced opportunities for outreach and face-to-face interactions with the public and key target groups. In spite of these challenges, I commend you and your teams in the National Ozone Units for your dedication, resilience, and innovative approach in continuing your country's work to implement the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, including WOD celebrations.
This year's WOD has a special significance since it commemorates the signature of the Vienna Convention, the world's first ozone treaty, in 1985. That landmark agreement established the framework for international scientific and research cooperation on the status of the ozone layer and paved the way for the Montreal Protocol. This year’s theme ‘Ozone for Life: 35 Years of Ozone Layer Protection,’ gives us the opportunity to reflect with satisfaction on the accomplishments of these two treaties to date, and look ahead to their evolving role for both ozone layer and climate protection. Without everyone's commitment, collaboration and sense of common purpose, we would not have achieved this "stratospheric" level of success.
The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have arisen from mankind's mistreatment of nature. The consequences of ozone depletion – excessive and dangerous UV radiation impacting human health – is another example of how humans have adversely affected the global environment. On this WOD, we can highlight the positive lesson learned from the two successful ozone treaties: the world community can unite and find a solution to a major global crisis, through differentiated but equal responsibilities, universal participation, and equity. They prove that when the world is dedicated to solving a problem, it can do so. The ozone treaties give us hope and inspiration that we will find a way to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic too.
For this year’s WOD, the OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) is pleased to provide you with two new services: one is a new service designed specifically for you, the National Ozone Officer, and the other is suitable for outreach to national stakeholders:
The next page lists some of the recent online tools and videos produced by OzonAction that you can share with stakeholders during your national celebrations. Beyond those resources, OzonAction also has a wide range of other existing information and awareness-raising materials that could also be used for your national celebrations. Please refer to the Ozone Day webpage on the OzonAction website for several examples.
We thank you for your ongoing commitment to maintain compliance with the Montreal Protocol and your excellent work in implementing your national strategies and projects. On behalf of the entire OzonAction CAP team, I wish you great success in this year's WOD celebration!
James S. Curlin
Acting Head of OzonAction Law Division
UN Environment Programme