Commemoration of the International Ozone Day, National Climate Change Awareness Week Day 2 2021
22nd September 2021 The National Ozone Unit from the Ministry of MEIDECC – Department of Climate Change hosted the commemoration of the world ozone day on the second day of the Tonga National Climate Change Awareness Week, held at the Queen Salote College Hall.
The international day for the preservation of the ozone layer was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on the 16th of September 1994 to commemorate the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer (resolution 49/114). As a member of the party, Tonga joins other Pacific Islands in celebrating and affirming the successful interventions of the Montreal Protocol by conducting national awareness programs on the significance of safeguarding the ozone layer.
The highlights of the world ozone day program were the launching of the regional ozone2climate art contest, presenting the Montreal Protocol inspection board and blowing of the commemoration candles. These accomplishments were led by the honourable guest of honor the minister for Finance and Customs, Hon. Tevita Lavemaau.
The regional art contest is a one-year-long campaign on the protection of the ozone layer and its link to climate change which will be awarded during next year’s ozone day. The inspection board is a gift from the ozone unit to the customs trade division to assist with the border control officers in identifying the controlled substances under the Montreal Protocol as well as applying the correct HS Code for each refrigerant and finally with the cake ceremony as a symbol of celebrating the world ozone day.
During the program, the guest of honor highly acknowledged the collaborations between his Ministry and the Ministry responsible for climate change and ozone layer protection. He highlighted the fact that without the tireless efforts and the spirit of working together as one, today’s milestones would be an illusion. He also insisted on the need of taking into utmost concern, our ozone and climate. Hon. Minister concluded in his keynote address for the commemoration of world ozone day by urging the people of Tonga, to accept the fact that climate change is real and immediate action is needed, without delay.
The commemoration program finished off with an awareness consultation with secondary school students, youth groups and women’s groups. The Director for climate change, Ms Luísa Tuíáfitu Malolo who delivered a speech on the connections between ozone and Climate Change. Speaking alongside the director for climate change were Mr Sau Niulala from Customs and Mr Fatafehi Fakatava from Tonga Refrigeration Air Condition Engineering Association. They spoke on their fields of work and their relation to ozone layer protection and climate change. This awareness consultation was named after one of our traditional alert systems; Manu – e – kaho keke lelea pe which depicts the importance of caring out awareness programs on issues important to the safety and livelihood of the people of Tonga.
The world ozone day program was fully funded by the United Nations Environment Program and was attended by different government and non – government stakeholders.
Issued by the Department of Climate Change (MEIDECC)