ODS (Ozone Depleting Substances) team completes the Ha’apai Awareness Mission

25th November, 2019 The Ozone team from the Ministry of MEIDECC – Department of Climate Change has accomplished an awareness task of Ozone at Pangai, Ha’apai.

This awareness task was a two days of public consultations lead by Mr.Uikelotu Vunga, head of Ozone division. The consultation focused on the importance of safeguarding the Ozone Layer as well as enforcing the Ozone Layer Protection Act, 2010. However, this Act will be modified due to the Kigali amendment of the Montreal Protocol as ratified by the Government of Tonga in September 2018.

According to Mr. Vunga’s elucidation during his presentation that the existing ozone layer protection Act needs to be amended in order to meet the requirements of the Kigali Amendment. These requirements include Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) such as R-134a and R- 404 to the list of controlled substances of the Ozone Layer Protection Act, 2010.  He also mentioned that the implementing of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) phase out process is progressing well. We expect a total phase out of R-22 in Tonga by 2040 but the current phase out trend seems to be faster than we expect and that is good news to the Ozone Secretariat and the overall mission and objectives of the Montreal Protocol.

The consultation was conducted at the Seventh Day Adventist Church Hall at Hihifo, Pangai Ha’apai on the 22nd and 25th of November 2019. Representatives from Government and non government organizations attended the meeting on the first day and were followed by the District and Town officers on the last day. This mission will continue to ‘Eua on the upcoming weeks.