United Nations (UN’s) World Ozone Day or also called as International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is annually observed across the globe on 16th September to create and spread awareness on the importance of Ozone layer and the effective ways to protect it. The first International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer was observed on 16th September 1995.
The theme for the 2020 is “Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection”.
The 2020 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer or World Ozone Day marks the celebration of 35 years of the Vienna Convention and 35 years of Global ozone layer protection.
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/49/144 on 19th December 1994 and proclaimed 16th of September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
ii.The date 16th September was chosen to commemorate the signing of Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on 16th September 1987.
Ozone Layer & its Depletion:
i.Ozone layer is the stratospheric layer that protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet radiation emitted from the sun. It contains highly reactive gas Ozone (O3) composed of 3 oxygen atoms.
ii.In the late 1970’s scientists discovered the depletion in the ozone layer – the hole – caused by the Ozone depleting gases(ODSs) which are used in the cooling and aerosols like refrigerator and air conditioners.
iii.The depletion in the ozone increases the rate of skin cancer, cataracts and damaged ecosystems.
i.Around 28 countries signed and adopted the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer under the Montreal Protocol on 22nd March 1985, under which the governments, industries and scientists worked together to reduce around 99 % of the all ODSs.
ii.The Ozone layer is expected to get back to the pre 1980 value by the mid-century.
The Montreal Protocol is aimed to control the global production and consumption of the OSDs like chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs), Methyl Chloroform, CTC halons and Methyl Bromide.
The Vienna convention and Montreal Protocol became the first treaties to achieve Universal ratification (198 countries) on 16th September 2009.
On the 28th meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol on 15th October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda the parties agreed to phase down the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
About Ozone Secretariat:
Ozone Secretariat is housed within the United Nations Environment Programme.
Executive Secretary– Tina Birmpili
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya