|Japan's Save the Ozone Network Receives UNEP Ozone Protection Award|
September 10, 2007
Japan's Save the Ozone Network Receives UNEP Ozone Protection Award
In 1987, the Montreal Protocol which regulates production, consumption, and trade of CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, CFC replacements and other ozone-depleting chemicals was adopted. This year marks the 20th anniversary since the signing of the Montreal Protocol, which has been regarded as the first serious efforts by humanity to tackle global environmental problems. The United Nations Environmental Programme, or UNEP, has designated this year as the Year of Ozone.
In this Year of Ozone, the UNEP has decided to present a Japanese citizens organization , the Japan’s Save the Ozone Network, the Montreal Protocol Public Awareness Award among its Twenties Anniversary Ozone Protection Awards, recognizing our 15-year efforts in promoting the protection of the ozone layer.
Founded by the late professor of economics at Takasaki University of Economics, Ms. Fumi Ishii in 1992, JASON has been the only organization with a nationwide network dedicated to promote the protection of the ozone layer. We have made a variety of policy recommendations which led to the enactment of the law on the collection and destruction of CFCs (and CFC or HCFC replacements). We have also worked hard to raise public awareness about the need to protect the ozone layer through various means; production of CDs titled “What’s the Ozone Layer,” picture books and paper theaters as well as organizing eco camps for children to help children learn about the ozone layer through their ears, eyes, and body and mind. In 2000, upon the proposal by UNEP, we made an English version of the CD, (which can be now downloaded from the UNEP website http://www.uneptie.org/Ozonaction/information/audio/jason.htm
http://www.uneptie.org/ozonaction/information/video/ozzyjapan.htm) and we have distributed the CD to children overseas and had opportunities to sing with them on stage. Our activities have certainly gone beyond borders.
We believe that the UNEP’s award is a manifestation of recognition of our unique efforts to promote ozone layer protection. However, it is also true that it is widely believed that the ozone issue is over as there is a mounting interest in climate change. But in reality, the ozone hole last year was the second largest since the initial measurement and it is expected to remain at the worst condition for some time. At the same time, CFCs and CFC replacements are found to be potent greenhouse gases and it is said that the greater the climate change becomes, the worse the ozone depletion gets.
Given the growing consumption of CFC replacements in Japan and developing nations and the urgent need to address the issue, we believe that the award we’ll receive at the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol will mark a new beginning of our continuous efforts.
The award ceremony will be held at Palais des congrès de Montréal on September 16th in Montreal as part of the the Nineteenth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in which two of our representatives will attend to be presented with the award.