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Synergetic Cooperation between WHO/EPI and UNEP IE in the Refrigeration Sector

Nairobi, June 1998 - The World Health Organization's Expanded Programme for Immunization (WHO/EPI) and the United Nations Environment Programme, Industry and Environment (UNEP IE), through its OzonAction Programme, launched a partnership for training activities in the refrigeration sector. The agreement for such partnership was initiated at the 1998 Technet Consultation of WHO/EPI in Copenhagen, 16-20 March 1998.

The WHO/EPI and UNEP IE's OzonAction Programme under the Montreal Protocol share similar overall objectives - the protection of human health.

The WHO/EPI aims to protect human health against the threat of epidemic diseases by providing safe and efficient vaccination with a maximum coverage. The provision of high quality vaccines may require transport and storage in a cold chain. Traditional cold chain equipment was based on CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) refrigerants which will be phased out under the Montreal Protocol. Newly purchased equipment will in general be based on non-CFC refrigerants which requires the training of technicians on servicing and repair of non-CFC equipment.

UNEP IE's OzonAction Programme aims to protect human health against the threat of increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation resulting from the effects of ozone layer destruction. The mandate of UNEP's OzonAction Programme is to provide technical and policy-related assistance to developing countries which are parties to the Montreal Protocol to enable them to phase-out ozone-depleting substances in a cost-efficient manner. In developing countries about 70% of the ozone-depleting substances are consumed as CFC's in the refrigeration sector, and most of it during servicing of CFC equipment. Therefore, training of technicians on good servicing practices, including recovery and recycling for existing CFC equipment, may significantly reduce the emission of CFCs to the atmosphere.

WHO/EPI and UNEP IE agreed to pool their resources to assist developing countries by: Exchanging information regarding relevant training activities in the refrigeration sector, network meetings and other related events. Use training materials already developed by the other party. Assist each other in the preparation of training materials for service technicians in the refrigeration sector. Implement joint training workshops for trainers of technicians and for service technicians in the refrigeration sector where appropriate. Establish links between health managers and public service technicians from the ministries of health, programme managers of the WHO/EPI and the ozone officers of the National Ozone Units. Use existing information channels such as newsletters, bulletins, e-mail networks to disseminate relevant information within both programmes.

UNEP Information Note 1998/13


About the Montreal Protocol

- The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is the international environmental agreement that has galvanized global cooperation to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. The Protocol was signed by 24 countries in 1987 and as of March 1997, has been ratified by 162 countries, or Parties to the Protocol. A number of ozone-depleting substances (chlorofluorocarbons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform and halons) have already been phased out in developed countries, except for about 10,000 tonnes used as essential uses.

About UNEP IE OzonAction Programme: Since 1991, the UNEP IE OzonAction Programme in Paris has been strengthening the capacity of governments (especially National Ozone Units) and industry in developing countries to make informed decisions on technology and policy options that will result in cost-effective ODS phase-out activities with minimal external intervention. The Programme accomplishes this by delivering a range of need-based services, including:

Information Exchange to enable decision makers to take informed decisions on policies and investments. Information and management tools already provided for developing countries include the OzonAction Information Clearinghouse (OAIC) diskette and World Wide Web site, a quarterly newsletter, sector-specific technical publications for identifying and selecting alternative technologies, and policy guidelines.

Training and Networking that provide platforms for exchanging experiences, developing skills, and tapping the expertise of peers and other experts in the global ozone protection community. Training and network workshops build skills for implementing and managing phase-out activities, and are conducted at the regional level (support is also extended to national activities). The Programme currently operates seven regional and sub-regional Networks of ODS Officers comprising more than 80 countries, which have resulted in member countries taking early steps to implement the Montreal Protocol.

Country Programmes and Institutional Strengthening that support the development of national ODS phase-out strategies and programmes, especially for low-volume ODS-consuming countries. The Programme currently assists 74 countries in the development of their Country Programmes and implements Institutional-Strengthening projects for 50 countries.

For more information, please contact:
UNEP IE OzonAction Programme
39-43 quai Andre Citroen,
75739 Paris Cedex 15, France.
Tel: +33 1 44 37 14 50 Fax: +33 1 44 37 14 74

Friday 10 Jul 1998
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