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Southeast and West Asia countries cooperate on certification schemes for refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians

Participants from Cambodia, Oman and Saudi Arabia visit a mobile air-conditioning servicing workshop in Manila as part of the study tour on establishing certification schemes for RAC technicians.

Manila, 19 March 2014 – The governments of Cambodia, Oman, Philippines and Saudi Arabia today agreed to further explore innovative means of cooperation between countries and regions at the closing of the Inter-regional Study Tour on the Certification of Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (RAC) Technicians of the Philippines organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction Branch in cooperation with the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) from 17 to 19 March 2014.

Under the HCFC Phase-out Management Plans (HPMPs) of Cambodia, Oman and Saudi Arabia, their National Ozone Units (NOUs) plan to introduce the certification schemes as good practice tools and measures to improve HCFC management in the RAC sector. The complexity of the issues and market cultures has made it a challenge for these countries to finalize the development of such schemes in the past years.

In the Philippines, the government linked the certification scheme under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the accreditation system under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the voucher system under the National CFC Phase-out Plan (NCPP) of the DENR-EMB. The establishment of policies and program about a decade ago has made the certification system in the country one of the most successful stories not only in Asia-Pacific but across developing countries worldwide.

This south-south cooperation aims to encourage peers to exchange experience/ideas on setting-up and operating the certification system for servicing technicians to reduce the consumption of HCFCs during equipment servicing; and to safeguard the wellbeing of technicians and end-users through proper measures and consideration of flammable and hazardous refrigerants increasingly being introduced into RAC equipment.

The tour included visits to the DENR, DTI and TESDA offices to understand how each government agency implements their policies. The participants also visited several small-scale servicing workshops to see how compliance with ODS-related regulations and practices is observed as required by TESDA certification.

DENR Under-Secretary, H.E. Ms. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh met the delegation on the last day of the tour. She reiterated the DENR’s continued support for such south-south cooperation, and wished Cambodia, Oman and Saud Arabia to have their own certification systems established soon.

The visiting participants expressed their appreciation of the south-south cooperation activity, and stressed the usefulness of the tour in their plans for developing their respective certification schemes.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Khaled Klaly, Policy and Enforcement Officer, Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP), OzonAction Branch, UNEP Regional Office for West Asia, Tel No: +973 17812763, Email: khaled.klaly@unep.org.

Mr. Shaofeng Hu, Regional Network Coordinator, Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP), OzonAction Branch, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Tel No: +66 2 288 1126, Email:shaofeng.hu@unep.org.

OzonAction Programme: www.unep.org/ozonaction