July 18, 2011

UNEP Convenes Meeting of Judges, Prosecutors and Enforcement Experts to Consider Integrated Enforcement to Combat Illegal Trade in Ozone Depleting Substances

Filed under: Judges and Prosecutors — Tags: , — inece @ 7:25 am

From UNEP OzoNews

For the first time UNEP has held a ‘brainstorming symposium’ involving High Court Judges, Prosecutors and a range of other experts to discuss the means to better address the issue of smuggling of ozone depleting substances (ODS). The symposium held on the  9-10 June 2011 in Paris was hosted by the OzonAction Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme Division of Technology, Industry and Economics and held in cooperation with UNEP Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC).

The brainstorming provided the opportunity to share experiences and ‘on the ground’ realities and needs of developing countries in relation to illegal trade. It allowed a better common understanding of the various relevant ongoing and existing initiatives, activities and training materials. The experiences and insights of the participants  provided crucial guidance in considering the means of advancing the role of the entire enforcement chain including judges, prosecutors, attorneys, police and customs to enforce environmental agreements. The meeting decided on a list of practical recommendations to be taken up by UNEP and its partners in starting to plan future activities and potential synergies in addressing illegal trade in ODS and other commodities by the enforcement community.

For the full article, see UNEP DTIE OzoNews

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March 8, 2011

Canada Reports Record Seizure of Illegally Imported Ozone Depleting Substances

Filed under: Chemicals & Waste, Environmental Crime, North America — Tags: , — inece @ 2:10 pm

From the Environment Canada Press Release:

Following an investigation conducted by Environment Canada officers, the company Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president, Mr. Alexis Dionne, have accepted responsibility for the illegal importation of approximately 120,000 kg of chlorodifluoromethane (HFCF-22), a gas used in the refrigeration industry.

The company and its president have been charged with four counts of illegal importation of HFCF-22 between September 2008 and June 2009, in contravention of the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations,1998.

With the agreement of the Attorney General of Canada, they have signed on March 2, 2011, an Environmental Protection Alternative Measures Agreement (EPAM) as provided under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

The charges against company Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president, Mr. Alexis Dionne, follow an investigation conducted by Environment Canada officers in 2009 at a warehouse located in Saint-Jérôme, Québec, where 5,315 cylinders, or approximately 72,285 kg, of HCFC-22 were discovered and seized. This is a record seizure.

Visit Environment Canada for the full Press Release.

November 15, 2010

Joint WCO/UNEP Operation Nets Large Haul of Ozone Depleting Substances

Filed under: Africa, Asia, Chemicals & Waste, climate, Environmental Crime, Europe, seaports, UN System — Tags: — inece @ 9:27 pm

Click the logos above for the Project Sky-hole Patching Information Brochure (pdf)

A joint global Customs enforcement operation initiated by the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and code-named “Sky-hole Patching II” led to the confiscation of more than 7,500 cylinders of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), and other ozone depleting substances.

Totalling over 108 tonnes of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and 668 pieces of equipment containing ODS, each of these man-made chemicals is linked to the rapid depletion of the ozone layer and all have been either banned or subject to strict controls under the terms of the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.

“This global operation by Customs in partnership with the WCO and UNEP which hauled in spectacular quantities of illegal ODS clearly demonstrates the success of this tripartite alliance against this dangerous trade and the organized criminal gangs who profit from it,” said Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO. “We cannot allow goods that threaten the health and safety of world citizens, which contribute to global warming and inevitably to negative climate change, and which damage the environment – perhaps more far-reaching than what is estimated – to circulate the globe without taking serious action,” Mikuriya added. “I can only commend all those who took part in this project and urge Customs and their partners to continue their enforcement efforts to secure our borders from all forms of illegal and illicit trade,” concluded the Secretary General.

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October 4, 2010

Out of the Maze: Montreal Protocol, Climate Benefits and the Green Economy

Filed under: climate, Environmental Crime, INECE Secretariat — Tags: — inece @ 7:15 pm

A Special Edition of the OzonAction Newsletter, Out of the Maze: Montreal Protocol, Climate Benefits and the Green Economy [large pdf], features 15 articles that profile aspects of the success of the Montreal Protocol and “lessons it holds for the global environment agreements of today.” Themes of the publication include: the “wider benefits” of the Montreal Protocol with respect to climate change, the relationship between ozone depletion and biodiversity loss, the benefits of the Protocol to supporting the green economy, and country lessons from implementing aspects of the agreement.

The Newsletter contains a feature on illegal trade in ozone depleting substances, “Resurgence of Trade in Ozone-Depleting Substances – HCFCs this Time,” by EIA President Allan Thornton, which explores how the “lessons learned from combating illegal trade in CFCs [can] be applied to ensure that the growing illicit trade in HCFCs is stopped.”

The Newsletter also features an article by Stephen O. Andersen, K. Madhava Sarma, and INECE Secretariat Director Durwood Zaelke,  “The Montreal Protocol Can Deliver Fast Action on Climate,” which calls for the use of “our best-performing institution – the Montreal Protocol – to take fast action to reduce threats to the climate and buy time for a strong multilateral agreement focused on carbon dioxide.”

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September 16, 2010

Celebrate the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

Filed under: climate, UN System — Tags: , — inece @ 12:25 pm

September 16 is recognized by the UN as International Ozone Day, and the 2010 celebrations mark the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the ozone hole. Under the theme Ozone Layer Protection: Governance and Compliance at their Best, UNEP is celebrating encouraging Parties to  promote, at the national level, activities in accordance with the Montreal Protocol.

From Ban Ki-moon’s Statement:

This year, the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer highlights the central role of good governance in pursuit of environmental goals. In general, successful environmental agreements require a broad framework, clear targets and a gradual approach to implementation. Then, as governments gain confidence, they build on initial steps and set more ambitious goals. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – which last year achieved universal ratification – is an excellent example of this process.   Read the full statement here.

Throughout the week, UNEP is hosting a daily expert who will answer questions about the ozone layer — today’s expert is Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, who will answer questions on the topic of “why the Montreal Protocol is the single most successful multilateral environmental agreement.” Visit the UNEP Ask-An-Expert Page.

UNEP OzonAction is providing new services and products for Article 5 developing countries to celebrate this important day. Through a new web site, countries can access resources, view image galleries, and discover what other countries have done in the past.

A recent article [pdf] by INECE Secretariat Director Durwood Zaelke acknowledges the great success of the Montreal Protocol, and urges further action to strengthen the Montreal Protocol to protect climate systems:

In 2007, the Parties agreed to accelerate the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in a decision that explicitly recognized the climate benefits of their actions. At the same time it was acknowledged that these climate benefits would only accrue if technologies and substances that replace HCFCs are as climate friendly as possible. To capture the full climate benefits of the HCFC accelerated phase-out, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with a high global warming potential  must be controlled now and in a manner that is consistent with HCFC regulation under the Montreal Protocol.

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