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Guinea Bissau Strives to Comply With The 2013 HCFC Freeze

 Bissau, 5-9 November, 2012- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) conducted the first ever HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Training of Trainers in Bissau. This was a joint training workshop aimed at providing technical assistance and policy guidance to refrigeration technicians and customs officers of the country.

The five day training, which was opened by Hon. Dr. Agostinho da Costa, Minister for Environment, comprised of a series of sessions with discussions on general ozone related topics held on the first day and separate working group sessions for the customs officers and refrigeration technicians held in the subsequent days. Key officials who attended the training included: Mr. Quecuta Njai, National ODS Officer; Mr Aruna Sow and Mr Fati, refrigerant consultants; Mr Dasilva, Director of the National Refrigeration training school; and Mr. Yamar Guisse, UNEP OzonAction Programme Officer.

In his opening statement, Hon. Dr Agostinho da Costa, welcomed participants and strongly encouraged them to use good practices in refrigeration like recovery and recycling. He pointed out that Guinea Bissau achieved total phase out of CFCs, Halons and carbon tetrachloride, and completed the ratification process for the Montreal and Beijing Amendments.

“Guinea Bissau completed its Terminal Phase-out Management Plan (TPMP) implementation in 2010 and started its HPMP implementation in 2012. The Guinea Bissau Government is now committed to comply with the 2013 and 2015 Montreal Protocol control measures.” Dr Agostinho da Costa concluded.

Mr. Guisse, in his remarks stated that the 65th Multilateral Fund Executive Committee meeting approved the HPMP for Guinea Bissau, and the country’s National Ozone Unit requested UNEP to be the implementing agency for the non-investment activities.

UNEP provided a guide on the use of identifiers Ultima ID Pro version RI-700H for the identification and control of HCFCs; created a HCFC data base management for better storage and sound management of recovered  refrigerants; and trained the local team on the management of a recovery and recycling centre.

“The National Ozone Bureau will acquire refrigerant identifiers; organize training workshops for refrigeration technicians and customs officers; monitor and evaluate the results of the training programs; and submit a follow-up report to UNEP three months after finalization of the workshops.” Mr. Guisse underlined.

In the course of the training, recommendations discussed highlighted the need for the National Ozone Unit to strengthen its collaboration with the National Association of refrigeration technicians and the refrigeration training school.

The Montreal Protocol requires countries to freeze consumption of HCFCs by 1st January 2013, reduce it by 10 percent by 1st January 2015 and by 35 percent by 1st January 2020. The HPMP approach allows the national strategy to be updated as new technologies are developed. Stage one of Guinea Bissau’s HPMP addresses meeting the baseline freeze for HCFCs in 2013, the 10 percent reduction in 2015 and later 35 percent reduction by 2020.

Indeed, this is a big challenge and the first target is only a few weeks ahead. This training of trainers therefore comes in handy as the country will use these trainers to train the remaining refrigeration technicians, customs officers as well as forest guards (other enforcement officers) to subsequently comply with the 2013 HCFC freeze.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Yamar Guisse, Programme Officer, Regional office for Africa, UNEP OzonAction/CAP, Tel: +254 207623909; E-mail: Yamar.Guisse@unep.org  
Ms. Emah Madegwa, Communication Specialist, Regional office for Africa, UNEP OzonAction/CAP, Tel: +254 20 7621396; E-mail: Emah.Madegwa@unep.org

Notes to Editors  
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.
Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987 and entered into force on January 1, 1989. Since then, it has undergone five revisions, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international cooperation "Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date...”
The Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol is managed by an Executive Committee which is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Fund. The Committee comprises seven members from developed and seven members from developing countries. The 2012 Committee membership includes Belgium, Canada, Finland, Japan, Romania, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America (developed countries) and Argentina, China, Cuba, India, Kenya, Jordan and Mali (developing country members) and is chaired by Mr. Xiao Xuezhi (China). The Committee is assisted by the Fund Secretariat which is based in Montreal, Canada.                            

Group Photo of the Delegates During HPMP Training of Trainers