The Mission – Ozone Safeguard is well Underway at Neiafu, Vava’u

20th November, 2019 An Ozone team of four from the Ministry of MEIDECC – Climate Change Department started their mission of continuous safeguarding of the Ozone Layer at the Fakamelino Hall in Neiafu, Vava’u this morning, Tuesday 19th of November 2019.

This mission is a two days of public consultation workshop focusing on the importance of safeguarding the Ozone layer, Hydrochlorofluorocarbons   (HCFC) phase out plan as well as transitioning to the control and  later phase out  of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). The mission started off with a spiritual morning devotion conducted by Rev. Sekope Finau (SDA) and was followed by the opening remarks from the officer in charge (OIC) MEIDECC Vava’u, Mr. Uili ‘Ulingaholo. The opening of the workshop was ended with a word of thanks from the Ozone team leader Mr. Uikelotu Vunga on behalf of the Ministry of MEIDECC.

The workshop consists of two major parts. The first module was a presentation by Mr. ‘Aloisio Fifita a member of the Ozone team, presenting on the comprehension of Ozone Layer, specifically on the scientific mechanisms of Ozone formation jointly with the natural and anthropogenic causes of its depletion. He also highlighted that the increase in the consumption of HCFC and HFCs are the linkages between this Ozone safeguard mission and climate change, since HFCs are non- ODS (Ozone Depleting Substances) alternatives with high global warming potentials (HGWP) that contribute to the increase in warming temperatures of the earth, which lead to changes in our usual climatic patterns and behaviors; a phenomenon that is universally known as Climate Change.

The consultation was concluded by Mr. Uikelotu Vunga head of ODS division by emphasizing the importance of keeping Tonga incompliance with the Montreal Protocol. “It is our obligation to abide by the law and enforce all existing regulations”, alleged Mr. Vunga. He also further explained during the discussions that due to Tonga’s ratification of Kigali amendment, the existing ozone layer protection Act needs to be amended and it is significant that people’s voices and opinions be heard and noted before submitted to the legislative assembly for approval of Ozone Layer Protection Amendment Bill 2019.

The workshop was funded by UNEP and attended by government line ministries along with representatives from non government organizations. The mission ends tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th of November, 2019 with the Vava’u district and town officers’ consultation workshop.

ENDS

Issued by the: National Ozone Unit of the Department of Climate Change.