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Towards methyl bromide phase out: A handbook for national ozone units.

Nairobi, August 1999 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a new policy publication, Towards Methyl Bromide Phase Out: A Handbook for National Ozone Units to assist developing countries in phasing out the toxic, ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide.

The Handbook is the first document of its kind to provide governments with the knowledge and tools necessary to design national action plans for methyl bromide phase out. It will help countries achieve two important goals: protecting the ozone layer while maintaining agricultural productivity through the adoption of safe and effective alternatives.

Methyl bromide is an ozone-depleting substance that is used as a fumigant in agriculture on such crops as tomatoes and strawberries, for pest control in structures and stored commodities and for quarantine treatments. The bromine from methyl bromide is 60 times more destructive to ozone on an atom-per-atom basis than the chlorine from CFCs. UNEP's Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee has identified alternatives for the vast majority of current uses and many of these are already used successfully around the world.

Recognizing its threat to the ozone layer, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to a global phase-out schedule for methyl bromide in 1997. This schedule requires that industrialized countries phase out methyl bromide by 2005. Developing countries must freeze methyl bromide consumption by 2002 with a 20% reduction in 2005 and a phase out by 2015. The development of policy measures is increasingly important as the first control measures for methyl bromide approach and as methyl bromide consumption increases in some developing countries.

The Handbook provides a step by step process in the development and implementation of national action plans to phase out methyl bromide and replace it with alternatives techniques. It will help in assessing methyl bromide use, identifying appropriate alternatives, encouraging stakeholder participation, establishing a policy framework, raising awareness, implementing alternatives and reviewing progress.

The handbook also highlights options and actions through diagrams, decision trees, illustrations and checklists. While the Handbook has been written for National Ozone Units in government departments responsible for implementing control measures under the Montreal Protocol, it can also be used by other relevant government departments, methyl bromide users, companies and non-governmental organizations.

About the UNEP TIE OzonAction Programme: This publication is part of the information exchange services provided by UNEP to developing countries to help them meet their methyl bromide phase-out obligations under the Montreal Protocol. The OzonAction Programme has developed a range of technical and policy publications to support the methyl bromide phase out and the transition to alternatives. UNEP provides other clearinghouse services (Training & Networking of ODS Officers) as well as assistance with the development of national ODS phase out strategies (Country Programmes) and Institutional Strengthening support.

For more information, contact:
Rajendra M. Shende,
UNEP TIE Energy and OzonAction Unit,
Tour Mirabeau,
39-43 quai Andre Citroen, Paris
75739 cedex 15, France
Tel: (33.1), Fax: (33.1),

To make this document widely available, the OzonAction Programme is publishing the hard copy and making it accessible through OzonAction Programme's web site at

If you would like copies of this publication, please see the order form below:'.



Towards Methyl Bromide Phase Out: A Handbook for National Ozone Units 135 FF/US$ 25

To order this handbook, please fill in this form and send to:
SMI (Distribution Services) Limited
P.O. Box 119 Stevenage,
Hertfordshire SG1 4TP England,
Fax: +44 (1438) 748 844

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UNEP TIE/Energy and OzonAction

UNEP Information Note 1999/29

Wednesday 01 Sep 1999
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